This boy, yep, that one in the field of lovely flowers, is my current king of tantrums. He is three and a half and smack bang in the middle of finding his way to independence. And he can scream. Loudly. And longly.
His favourite word is ‘no’. He resists getting dressed in the morning. Wherever we’re going, he doesn’t want to go. Contrary is his middle name.
So, from experience, here’s what I’ve learnt about tantrums:
- During a tantrum, he can’t hear you. No matter how loudly you speak, or how close you are, he just can’t hear you. Even if you could be heard about the screaming, he is in his own, self-absorbed bubble of tantrum where no one exists but him.
- Close the doors so you don’t wake the baby. You don’t need anyone else screaming.
- Decide if it’s a battle you want to win. Sometimes, half way through a tantrum, I realise that I’m holding my ground to preserve my own pride and not teach him any valuable life lessons. Back down. He won’t remember your moment of weakness.
- Subsequently, if it’s a battle you do want to win, hold your ground! I know the screaming is horrible. I know the neighbours probably think you’re performing some sort of ritual torture on your children. I know he’s making himself gag and the tears are flowing and it’s breaking your heart that he’s screaming “I WILL BE A DOOD BOY MUMMY I WILL BE A DOOD BOY”. Sit out that tantrum, don’t give in, and save all those cuddles for once the storm has passed.
- Sometimes you need to put him in a room alone. For his safety. From you. Or is that just me?