Is it possible to actually conquer a temper tantrum??

I don’t think there are really any winners when it comes to temper tantrums. But if there were, I’m pretty sure I would have come up on top for this one. Certainly not because it didn’t exist, I have two toddlers temper tantrums are clearly part of the territory. Definitely not because it wasn’t excruciating, so much so that I wanted to have an out of body experience. Absolutely not because it didn’t become a spectical, crowds were drawing in to sympathize, try and help or obviously judge. For sure not because it was short, twenty-five minutes of screaming is enough to do anyone in!

I think I “won” this battle because I handled it in almost a textbook clinical sorta way. The first thing I did was that I removed all emotions. In some ways this is pretty easy for me. Every time Drew has had anything of this sort, I shut off wanting any sort of negotiations or desire to comfort him. This has been a bone of contention between Adam and me. He tries very hard to talk Drew off of the proverbial edge and comfort him through the pain. I, on the other hand, shut off and become icey and mad at him. This time I maintained a stern-ness that wasn’t going to mess around.

“When you whine or carry on, its an automatic no.” That mantra was ingrained in my head at a very early age from my mom. The irony is that I hated those words growing up and now they are the ones I live by. Drew’s issue was a desire to push the elevator button, which then resulted in us walking down the stairs. No amount of tears, screams or words could convince me that he should go into that elevator after behaving the way he did.

The most amazing thing about the whole fiasco was that it didn’t even register on my radar as a fiasco. Obviously I was displeased that it happened but I did not allow it to take up an ounce of frustration in my mind. Mostly because I felt that the temper tantrum was an inevitable part of parenting, I successfully handled it and felt more confident as a result.

Previously I think I would have been consumed with the devastation of airing our dirty laundry in front of others. Or I would have felt so out of control that I would have gotten flustered. And lastly I would have walked away from the circumstance feeling like such a failure that I would have taken that feeling with me all day. Rather, I got over the fact that others saw me because I felt like I managed it so well. I felt more in control because I stood my ground and did not bend until he caved. And I walked away with my head held high because I conquered it.

There aren’t many days you can honestly say in your gut that you know you have done right by your children. Today I feel pretty good about the fact that I did. I think Drew learned an important lesson, I think Gabby bear witness of that and I think I feel more confident with myself and my mothering skills. Go me!

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"Temper tantrums" sure can wear a parent out. One of my chidlren now grown, had the mothers of all tantrums on a regualr basis. I ended up taking parenting classe because I hadn't never a positive theng from my parents with my own "temper tantrums".

Some children are just touchy. Most need to have regualr routinges that help them feel safe and secure. For me as a child I had no bed time or nap time. In fact no regualr anything. My parents often forgot to feed me. My son and I have hypogycemia. those two issues are big causes of a kid falling apart and not having a shut off button to stop.

The most important thing I learned in parenting classes was something I HATED at first. "You can not change someone else's behavior. You MUST change your own."

My responce was angry, "You don't understand hwo this kid gets out of control!"

My councellor was calm and suggested i read on and try to identifying exactly what I was doing to keep IT going. "What do yolu do imediately AFTER the behavior?"

"I just strat telling him what he is doing wrong and to stop it RIGHT now."

she suggested I gave him negetive reinforcement and talked too much. that was the pay off. Next time I should do something different-like ignoring it.

the big problem in our house was the inconsistency esp in parenting between mom and dad.

I learned to be sure to tell him what was going to happen ahead of time and what was expected of him.

He needed regular routines. I needed the same growing up too.

this is how I ended up dealing with the 'temper tamtrums' in anot shell.

Malika

You really painted the picture of how to properly handle that kind of circumstance.  And although I'm committed to it and understand it, I also find myself just reacting at times.  And without following the principles of "how to handle a temper tantrum," it usually makes things worse in the long run.  Thank you for articulating your growth so nicely.

Sarah, I think you are spot on with the ways you suggest I handle him.  The overall problem is that there are just sometimes in engaging with your children (and I've gotten much better with constant practice) that you are forced to just respond.  In this instance, my friend's son just got to the button first.  There was nothing I could do.  And it would have been great if I could have prepared my monster ahead of time, but life doesn't seem to always allow for an easy transition.  I've definitely mastered the art of letting him just cry it out.  But sometimes I'm unable to abandon ship (get out of dodge or whatever analogy I can give) before he blows.  Fortunately, the people passing were mostly sympathetic.  And just as I start to think we are transitioning out of this stage and he's getting better about it, I let down my guard, and now we're back in tantrum city!  I'm sure someday I will say that this is a day in the park compared to his teenage years (or at least my daughter's).

My son would melt down over that too, if he were overtired or hungry or had other things going on. (And he is, unfortunately, always overtired.)  Yesterday the clock chimed 4:00 and before I even told him it was time to go, he had a tantrum: "I don't want it to be 4:00!"  Nothing I could do then ... I just ignored it.  It actually stopped rather quickly.  He whined and fussed -- but when I didn't respond, he just gave up.

Mommy's Two Cents said:

Sarah, I think you are spot on with the ways you suggest I handle him.  The overall problem is that there are just sometimes in engaging with your children (and I've gotten much better with constant practice) that you are forced to just respond.  In this instance, my friend's son just got to the button first.  There was nothing I could do.  And it would have been great if I could have prepared my monster ahead of time, but life doesn't seem to always allow for an easy transition.  I've definitely mastered the art of letting him just cry it out.  But sometimes I'm unable to abandon ship (get out of dodge or whatever analogy I can give) before he blows.  Fortunately, the people passing were mostly sympathetic.  And just as I start to think we are transitioning out of this stage and he's getting better about it, I let down my guard, and now we're back in tantrum city!  I'm sure someday I will say that this is a day in the park compared to his teenage years (or at least my daughter's).

Now that method I have totally mastered!  I have even resorted to locking myself in my room if he won't stay in his.  Boy, ain't motherhood grand :)

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