Dealing with tantrums

… is hard enough without other people trying to interject. Kids will be kids. Toddlers have tantrums.

dealing with tantrums

“Come on, kids. Let’s go!”

Two pairs of feet rush past me to their dad who’s standing next to the car. One pair of feet is obviously missing.

“Come on. Let’s GO!”

Silence precedes the sound of my feet walking towards her. See, with this child, I have to go to her. Her selective hearing kicks in when we’re trying to leave a place when she doesn’t wanna.

“Butterfly, I said, LET’S GO!”

She glances my direction then quickly goes back to playing. My hands go around her waist as I pick her up to put her on my hip, and then,

“AAAHHHHHHHHHH! AAAAAHHHHHH! AAAAAAHHHHHH! No, Mommy, no!”

Family and friends look on worried. One person starts walking in my direction and I shoot her a glare that seems to work better on her than my own daughter.

I wrestle her into her car seat then stand flustered and sweaty. The screams continue, as the car shakes from her writhing.

“What’s going on? What’s wrong with her?”

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I sigh. I get these questions all the time these days. The questioning had stopped for a while, since Bee was two, almost a year and a half ago. Before that, it had been the better part of a decade.

Now, they have come back with a vengeance. Almost every time I go out, someone opens their mouth and asks me these questions (or variations of them), as if any answer I could give would allow them to “solve” it for me.

“She’s two. She’s just two.”

I'm constantly astonished at people's reactions to kids being kids. Click To Tweet

After being a parent for over a decade, I’m constantly astonished at other people’s reaction to children acting like, well, children.

I thoroughly understand that all children act differently.

Some, like my son Bunny, are docile cats, who linger around, rarely make a noise and do what they’re told.

Others, like my daughter Bee, can’t bear to be in the background. She emits a noise wherever she goes just to let you know that she’s there. But her bark is louder than her bite. She’ll be upset when she’s told no, but she’ll do it while stomping, pouting and screaming.

Still others, are like my daughter Butterfly, act like you didn’t say anything at all, and continue doing whatever they were doing until you physically remove them.

What is consistent among all the personalities is that they all push boundaries, some just push harder, or louder than others. Sometimes, they are happy, giggly and joyful bundles of energy. Then other times, they are just plain nasty, especially when they haven’t had a full nap.

I’ve tried using a nice calm voice, asking her to come with me. I’ve tried luring her away with distractions. But there are times like these where all rational, calm decisions go out the window.

But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about the onlookers, the parents. When the questions come, there is no compassion, no caring, no understanding that toddlers throw tantrums. Even when there is a “reason”, appeasing them may not solve the problem.

Have a little compassion, spectators. Kids have tantrums. #losethecape Click To Tweet

All children have this period. This period can range from a couple of months to a couple of years. Most of the time, I try to keep her inside when I know she hasn’t had her nap, or stay home when I know that’s she’s having “one of those days”.

There are the times that I have to be out, and it’s really frustrating to worry about the glares of spectators who act like it’s the first time that they’ve ever seen a child throw a tantrum. Wondering if…

  • they are going to try to step in.
  • they are going to offer “advice”.
  • they are going berate you.

But I can’t do anything about them, so I’ll count the days until she matures into the next childhood stage.

How do you deal with those people who want to interject into your parenting?

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