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!
My mom ingrained the same tactic in me since I was young! It might be harsh but it works!!! Isn’t it funny how become so much like our moms even though we fight it so bad?!! My son is only one but I can the “attitude’ coming out slowly-nothing a bit of tough love can’t fix 😉
I have totally turned into my mom! Fortunately I have always had a great relationship with her and happily aspire to be at least half the mom she has been! I wish the temper tantrums could be cured with love…good luck!!!