I’d like to be able to claim that my child is a perfect angel, with an even temperament. In most of our dearest dreams, we’d like to think that our child would never throw temper tantrums — particularly not in the middle of a crowded store. What reason would our own sweet child have — after all — for throwing their little selves on the grass in the middle of the park, and proclaiming that he doesn’t want to go home, ever.
My son is my “favorite human” — it’s true… I’m his biggest fan.
But, he also has those moments when he tests my patience, and creates such a scene that I think other parents might just think I’m the meanest parent in the world.
So, here are a few tips that we try to use for those tantrum times:
- Snacks: When my son is hungry, he often doesn’t know what he wants. When we’re out-and-about, it helps to make sure that we have those snacks with us. It helps to avoid the meltdowns, both by satisfying his hunger, and also offering the familiar snack he likes.
- Talk: My son (now) loves to talk. So, it’s much easier in many ways. It’s important for him to be able to explain why he’s upset, but it’s also great when he has an idea of what the day will hold. He participates in the planning, and has input on what we do, though that doesn’t mean he avoids the dentist and doctor and school.
- Redirect: It’s sometimes easy, particularly when our kids are super young, to distract from what they were so upset about. Of course, as they get older, they’re not as easily dissuaded from their feelings of anger and frustration. It’s still possible to speak to my son. He loves to read and play, so we talk about what he’d like to do — with often helps him to calm himself.
- Growing up: We want to teach our children about appropriate behavior, that it’s not ok to throw a fit. On the one hand, I want my son to express his emotions. It’s okay to feel that way; but it’s not ok to take actions in ways that could endanger himself and others.
I know that we all pick our battles, and we all fail sometimes. We just want to do the best we can for our kids.