Temper Tantrums: Ever have one of these days?

Ever have one of these days? Lying in the aisle of Walgreens is your two year old. He is kicking, screaming and barely conscious from the explosion of sound, frustration and physical release that just left his body. All you can say to yourself is… REALLY??? Some days are better than others in dealing with such public embarrassment. The best way to handle this age of temper tantrums is to understand why they occur and prepare yourself for ways to avoid and handle them when they do occur. Trust me, they will occur in the most awkward of times.

What is a temper tantrum? (Before I write the exact definition, let me just say that I LOVE the internet. Where was this when my kids were growing up? Yeah, I know, not all of the information is accurate. However, on this topic, good stuff. I will list the links below) A temper tantrum is a raw and unplanned extreme emotional response to frustration, emotionally overwhelming situations, anger, sadness, unexpected events or opposition by another person.

Whew! That is a long definition. Yet, very accurate. Put yourself in the shoes of your toddler. Here you are seeking experiences, looking to be more independent, and for the most part enjoying life. You are in Walgreens and see the most awesome baby board book called ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ The baby on front cover is so cute and smiling at you. You just have to hold it. So, you reach for it. Hmmm, not working. So you reach out again, this time taking two steps closer to the books. Nothing. Frustration starts to set in. You turn, look over at mom and point, then grunt. Nothing. No response. Mom is busy. You grunt again and this time point more fiercely. Nothing. In fact, this time, mom looks over and says, ‘Come on, let’s go’. That does it. You freak. Misunderstood once again. Based on your limited experiences and lack of language development, you do not care how this conversation goes down. You WANT THAT BOOK! So splat, on the floor you go. Most likely mom will not get the fact you want the book and most likely at this point does not care. She is now feeling like that mom everyone talks about who cannot control that kid in the store. (Oh, I remember the good ole days)

So what can you do to avoid such treachery as a parent?

1. Understand that this will happen and why it happens. Don’t take it personal. About 80% of children from the age range of two to four are likely to have frequent fits of temper.

2. Avoid public displays by doing the best you can to NOT take them out at times when you know they are the most likely to act up.

3. Explain clearly to your child your expectations in certain places. I used to let my kids know in the car before we entered a public place what my expectations were of their behavior and what to expect if they did not behave that way. We left many stores before I wanted to.

4. Give your child choices. This helps them to develop critical thinking skills and gives them a sense of power over their situations.

5. Talk about it with other parents. It can be quite funny or be a gauge if the situation is getting out of control. Ask for help if needed.

Most of all, be consistent and try to remain calm. If children know what to expect, they feel safe, secure and loved. Anyone (including pets) will listen and respond positively when they know what to expect.

Here are those links that I promised.

KidsHealth.org  - http://www.bing.com/health/article/kidshealth-1250016491/Temper-Tantrums?q=temper+tantrums

Wisegeek – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-temper-tantrum.htm

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Temper Tantrums: Ever have one of these days?

  1. liz says:

    i just had this very conversation with another mother of two… we have become complacent in our outdoor journeys, with a false confidence that our nearly-5-year-olds are old enough now to maintain an even keel. sadly, i am here to say that the tantrums don’t end the older they get.
    while pregnant with my first child, i read a lot of parent blogs and somewhere along the way i picked up the Most Valuable Piece Advice Ever: never. EVER. apologize for a screaming/crying child. it’s what they do. it’s how they communicate. and while this mantra doesn’t always help you while you’re in the thick of an epic meltdown at wallgreens or starbucks or anywhere. but, seriously. NEVER.
    people will always be around to make you feel self-conscious or to darn-near heckle your parenting skillz. i call it assvice. smile, nod, ignore.
    also: sometimes a tantrum is just the result of the perfect storm of tired/hungry/confused/and just processing the events of the day. sometimes a kid just needs to expel some energy and, as children do, they don’t know how to get it out or how to process those feelings. and then we have the tantrum.
    let me paint a picture: here i am thinking i’m mother of the year, LOOK AT ME! I’M TAKING MY KIDS TO STORY HOUR AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. i was asked by the story-telling librarian to please remove my crying 3-month-old nursling from the group if she was going to be crying. and by the way, take your 3 year old, too. so we went downstairs to check out our books and my 3yo is lying on the floor, taking his shoes off and THROWING them at me and screaming I WANT A STORY! I WANT A STORY! POPPA!POPPA!POPPA! I NO WANT MAMA!”
    and with little exaggeration, the whole of the senior citizen population of our neighborhood, no joke here, circled me and tsk tsk tsk’ed me. by the time i got both crying, flailing, quickly dissolving into puddles of wet sad and angry, some dude sitting on the bench outside has the nerve to say something nasty to me. i turned around and thanked him very much for his help and in the future maybe instead of sitting on his ass when he sees a woman with two children and is clearly having a difficult time, hey a**wipe, maybe you could, i dunno, hold the door open for me? offer to chase my empty stroller as it rolls into the street? help pick up the books that fell over?
    i think i can rationalize a tantrum like a champion, but when you’re in it, man, those are some hard minutes.
    so there: never apologize for a crying baby/child/mama.

  2. daigoumee says:

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

  3. What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

Comments are closed.