Tag Archive: tantrums


So this post by my friend Sean’s wife, Kirby, is a little bit different [was an eye-opener for me] as it differentiates between Tantrums and Meltdowns and i would love to hear some response to this from other parents who have maybe never thought about this before. She posted this under the title ‘Moment on Meltdowns’ on her blog ‘Niggles and Giggles’ which i have links to at the end, so go and see what else her and Sean have to say…
greathead

About 4 years ago we were driving to church and had to wait in some traffic to park (we went to a rather large church). In order to speed things up, I took my daughter out the car and walked into the church to an agreed meeting place. The problem was this place was busier than expected and noisy than I would have liked.

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This is a post that Belinda Mountain has generously allowed me to use. Make sure you click through to her blog ‘Making Mountains’ (out of molehills) which i link to at the end of this piece:

Pic of Belinda Mountain and family

Lessons in Humility

We’re back. And I wish I could say that I’m super relaxed from a lovely lazy holiday but actually my nerves are shot, my back muscles are all tensed up and my parenting chi is completely in tatters. Why? (you may ask). A 2-year-old that’s what. Let me begin my ‘Lessons in Humility’ story with the accompanying image..Lessons in Humility

That is Ben. A little boy sitting on a very big bench having a time out as he gazes over the hills of the Drakensberg.

Below him you will find some groups of adults attempting to play lawn bowls. One group was my family and another was a group of English tourists who probably didn’t imagine that they would be terrorised by a badly behaved two-year-old. They’ll head back to London and tell their friends that South African children are REALLY badly behaved. I cringe.

They are trying to have a civilised game of bowls and sip on a G&T but a tow-headed toddler in a blue shirt keeps stealing the little white ball or moving their black balls or getting in the way when they are trying to throw. He does NOT want to play with the spare set of bowling balls given to him specifically for this purpose. No, he wants to play with the real thing obviously. And then he has a tantrum when his mother stops him. And another one. And another one. He lies on the field and kicks his little legs and screeches and rolls around until after the third time, he gets removed to a bench where he contemplates his behaviour, apologises (Sowee Marmy) and then proceeds to do it all. over. again.

But this doesn’t just happen on the bowls field. It happens on the croquet field and when some strangers are playing tennis and when a little girl is kicking her own ball on the lawn. And it doesn’t just happen with balls. It happens when another toddler plays with “his” Lego (not his at all, belonging to the resort) or when he can’t have cereal for dinner or when I try and pick him up on a walk to the waterfall.

I carry him thrashing in my arms through a crowded dining room full of strangers and feel all of my confidence that I have finally got the hang of this parenting lark crumble off into bits. I am completely humbled. Because my inability is on show for all to see, there is no hiding from it. I want to crawl under the table behind the table cloths and pretend he belongs to someone else.

But I don’t of course. I pick him up and rock him to and fro and whisper in his ear and try calm him down. I claim that he is mine and when an older (very well meaning) lady asks me “Shame, is he sick? Or tired?” I answer with honesty and say that No, he is just two and a little angry and frustrated at life.

It’s a phase! (all the books say). But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to question what I’m doing wrong here. I’m quite consistent with discipline but the ‘time out’ that worked so well for Rachel does not appear to be working one little bit. Ben will sit on that bench dutifully but does not appear unhappy about being admonished at all. In fact, he seems to view it as a bit of a game.

What’s comforting me is that he hasn’t been THAT badly behaved before. His tantrums are pretty limited when he’s at home and when he is going to school and is in his routine. He’s mostly a happy agreeable little guy who is loving and funny and behaves like a typical little boy I think. But there’s something about being on holiday, surrounded by lots of other kids, and having me at his beck and call (i.e not at work or away from him) that brings out the worst in him. His tantrums never appear in front of teachers or his nanny Norma or parents of his friends – they seem to be directed squarely at ME, his mother, and I feel like this is my fault.

I was humbled this weekend and embarrassed. Fellow parents are wonderfully understanding people but I’m quite a shy person and don’t like to cause a scene and my child put me SEVERELY out of my comfort zone these last two days.

I need to buy some books on this issue or do some research. You’ve given me some wonderful advice before on a previous post I wrote. But ignoring him doesn’t tend to work. And acknowledging the reason (I KNOW you want the balls but you can’t have them right now as the adults are using them) has not got us anywhere. This piece one of you sent me on letting the tantrum play out just feels too difficult in such a public space. Any other recommendations or techniques or tips? I really could do with some help.

love from the most incompetent parent ever (sob!)

xxx

Belinda

P.S. I forgot to mention that he also head butted me in the windpipe.

Belinda Mountain writes a (sort of) mommy blog (as she calls it) called Making Mountains which you can go and take a look at over here. If you benefitted from reading her story here at all, or just want to offer her an encouraging word, then please head on over there and leave a comment.

[For more stories of Parents dealing with Tantrums, click over here]

wendy

For the past 3 weeks, Masi has really been struggling to go to sleep. And when I talk about Masi struggling, I don’t mean that he just lies in his bed and plays with his fingers and can’t doze off – I mean he jumps out of bed and slams the door repeatedly, he pulls the curtains down, he opens his cupboard and flings all his clothes around the floor, he jumps on his sister while she is trying to sleep, most of the time yelling and screaming and kicking, hitting and fighting us when we try and calm him down.

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cand

[Candice is one of my oldest [as in time spent together] Improv friends and now that she has moved to Australia i am realising how much i miss not having her around… but she has written an excellent post which i’m sure is going to resonate with and encourage many of you so here goes…]

Because I am going through a challenging phase with my teenaged daughter and many of my friends are having babies at the moment, I have been thinking a lot about what I would do differently in the parenting department should I have another child. Knowing what I know now about how the mistakes of the past come back to haunt you in your teenaged child, I guarantee you that it is easier dealt with when they are young, even though at the time all you want is some silence and a glass of wine in your hand without having a nervous breakdown. I know, I’ve been there.

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tantrum

i don’t have children, but i have lived among them.

i can imagine that one of the scariest things for a parent [after safety/health issues] must be that moment when your young child throws themselves on the floor in the middle of the local supermarket [did i mention it’s end of the month busy packed shopping day?] and starts to scream and froth at the mouth.

i don’t know that all children have tantrums, but i know that a whole lot of them do. i imagine some parents have found methods that work really well and that other parents feel completely helpless and terrified.

So this feels like a Taboo Topic worth addressing in the form of inviting parents who have experienced their children throwing tantrums and either felt completely helpless, scared, embarrassed and vulnerable or else managed to find some ways to deal with the situation with the least amount of effort, pain and being red-carded from your local Pick ‘n Pay.

i hope these stories will encourage you to know that you are not alone, but also that some of them might have some tips, methods, ideas that you may not have tried which may be a possible solution for you and your children.

As always, thanks for everyone who has been brave enough to share:

Meet Candice D’arcy – Biting back, bathrooms and consistency…

Meet Wendy Lewin – Trying to get her son to sleep…

Meet Leigh Geary – The Joys of two-year-olds getting dressed…

Meet Belinda Mountain – Her two-year-old son Ben and a very public tantrum…

Meet Kirby and Sean Greathead – Difference between Tantrum and Meltdown

[I also have some great stories from Parents of Young Children when it hasn’t been that easy, click here]

This is not a topic i have a lot of personal experience of. Or any. The beautiful Val [tbV] and my philosophy about children is that we enjoy other peoples and the opportunity to give them back to them at the end of the day. We enjoy kids but we don’t particularly want our own. But we also understand that for a lot of people [perhaps the majority of people who are married?] having children is one of the biggest things in their life, especially for many who have wanted kids their whole life, even some of them from when they were kids.

We have both babysat kids though and we have witnessed kid tantrums [with kids of strangers and also with kids of parents we know] and i was a primary school teacher and did a year’s worth of practical teaching at least and we have both been involved with kids on camps and in holiday clubs and in many other shapes and forms. We get that sometimes [hopefully mostly?] they’re amazing. They’re like little people. Oh wait that’s exactly what they are. But little people who require a lot of love and grace and energy and patience and forgiveness and a whole lot of other stuff.

not always a bundle of joy?

And so we get that it’s not always easy. And for some of you there may be whole periods where it seems like it is never easy. There are books that have been written but there is no real users manual. Each child is different, each family circumstance is different and so there is no one-size-fits-all in any aspect of raising children. I imagine for some parents out there, parenting [or trying ones best to parent] can be a really lonely, frustrating or at times paralysing thing. People tend to brag about how amazing and well-behaved and excellent their kids are as opposed to taking joy in sharing how difficult or frustrating or hurtful their kids can be. So i thought this might be a great topic to get some stories on here. I imagine there is some help for parents of small kids in the form of books or groups or workshops, but not everyone will necessarily have access to those.

So i wanted to chat to some of the parents of young children [talking under the age of about 8 here] that i know and see if i can get anyone to share on when being a parent of a young child, or young children was not so easy and if there was a way that they managed to get through it [if they have yet] to be able to share that and hopefully give some help or encouragement to those of you out there who may be struggling. Maybe just the notion that it’s okay to struggle. You are not alone:

First up i have this most excellent letter to Parents of Small Kids by Steve Wiens

Meet my friend Candi Fourie [includes Postnatal Depression]

Meet my friend Nicolette Ferreira [juggling work at home with looking after baby]

Meet Terran and Julie [and their FIVE!] and a really HONEST, raw and rough cry out from a parent

An excellent post and series from a number of my friends with crazily creative ideas for raising young children as world changers

To wives before you were ‘Mommy’ – an important reminder to both new moms and dads, by Becky Thompson

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