When your child has a tantrum

Posted by Samantha on February 21, 2011 in Thought for the day |

Remember, when your child has a tantrum, don’t have one of your own.

Dr J. Kuriansky, US clinical psychologist

The day I started thinking of my own bad behaviour as tantrums, was the day my tantrums started to go away.

Sure it was an uncomfortable admission.  Who on earth wants to admit that they are prone to throwing tantrums as an adult!

But if my child’s crying and shouting and bad behaviour was a tantrum then what was my shouting and bad behaviour?  The only difference was the crying.  I surely didn’t deserve brownie points because I could control myself to the extent that I didn’t cry when frustrated or angry with my child?

But the righteousness of anger can be hard to resist:  “How dare they?  After all I’ve done?  There’s simply NO WAY they should be doing that”.

Every time I checked, it was these sorts of unreasonable thoughts that were behind my own unhelpful tantrum-like behaviour.

My three year old “shouldn’t” be upset because we’re leaving the playground.

My four year old “should” be willing to share his toys with his sister without a fuss.

They both “should” be able to sit at the table and eat whatever I’ve prepared without getting up and down a half dozen times.

Says who?

Today I know that as soon as I think “should” my anger starts to rise.  And frequently my “should” is ridiculous.  But once I get aware of it, it’s already starting to recede.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve read that we’re better off eliminating the words “should” and “shouldn’t” from our vocabulary.  I agree.  And if you can apply this advice to what your kids should or shouldn’t do, as well as yourself, you’ll be well on your way to a more harmonious family.

I promise.

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