Good afternoon all. I hope you are having a fabulous weekend so far and staying warm. Today I have decided to talk a bit about parenting and the issue of the dreaded tantrum. I am sure many of you can relate with this topic. You know that fit that starts with mommy can I have and ends with your child screaming at the top of their lungs.
As a mother of six I have learned to deal with this tantrum rather well. Not that it makes them any easier but thus is life when you have children. I have learned some patterns to avoid and some easy tips to help ward off these fits that leave one looking for an escape. Here is what I have discovered.
- Make sure your child is well rested before trying to venture to any store.
- Distractions are an easy decoy.
- Stay strong it will pass.
- Do not worry about what others think.
- If all else fails, leave your child at home with dad.
Okay, so step 1 is the ideal option for any trip. You all know that a rested child is a happy child. If you know you have to go to the store, try to schedule it around your child’s normal nap time. After being the optimal time. As any parent knows this is not always possible. Enter step two.
Having a distraction for your child helps to keep their minds occupied. Children often throw a fit because they are bored. With boredom comes the need for attention or something to occupy their time. Try taking a favorite toy or book with you when ever you travel to the store. Do not give the item to your child until you see that the tantrum is inevitable. Let them look and be involved with your shopping trip and then pull the toy out at the needed time. Giving your child the toy to begin with will only cause them to get bored with that toy and look for new distractions. Then guess what, in comes the tantrum. So having a backup distraction is always a smart idea.
There will be times when every distraction in the world just does not work. When this happens and the screams start, you want to crawl in a hole and never come out. Do not give up though. This will pass. Sometimes you just need to let them scream it out. I know this is not what you want to hear when you are standing in a store full of people who are now staring at you. Enter step four. Do not worry about what others think. While you may at the moment feel like the worst parent in the world you are doing what is best for your child. When your child is throwing a fit he/she is asking for validation to their claims of necessity. If you give in and give them what they want to avoid the criticism of bystanders, you will be failing your child. Let them scream. Just keep going through your shopping list and ignore the tantrum they are unleashing. This will accomplish two things. You will be teaching your child that what they are crying for is not something they need and you will be teaching them that screaming is not a way to get their voice heard. Thereby teaching them that next time (and yes there will be a next time) they want something, screaming will not work. After you have done this for a while your child will learn that tantrums do not serve a purpose and they will have fewer and fewer.
I hope this helps at least someone out there. While I will not say that any of these steps are easy, they are doable. They will not always work but they will help. Never give up and just keep doing what is best for your child. In the end you will have a few more grey hairs and a better relationship with your child.
Have a wonderful weekend my friends. Inspire to be inspired and keep your dreams alive always.