March 4, 2013

Lessons Learned on Tantrums

About a year or so ago I posted about how my life was nothing but a series of pre-meditated actions and routines since I had a toddler. At the time, I was still calculating my moves, reflecting on my failures and above all else trying to determine why this was becoming second nature to me. And recently it hit me: tantrums.

In the last two years, I have been in mental and physical training for tantrums. I have learned to squash my fear of her meltdowns, to recognize I am the boss and will not be embarassed of her tantrum, and to repeat the mantra “her attitude is not a reflection of my ability to parent.”

Here are my lessons learned regarding tantrums:

1. Stay calm and in control of your actions. I like to pretend I’m a prisoner of warfare and am being interrogated for my knowledge on the latest mission. Show no fear, don’t let them know anything…you see the similarities, don’t you?

2. Learn to walk away. For a long time, the idea of leaving a store (any store) without accomplishing what I came to do was unfathomable to me. Now, I don’t need the Magic 8 Ball to tell me that “all signs point to yes” that it’s time to go.

3. Flatter her. “You did a great job.” Or “Thank you for being a great helper.” A little positive reinforcement can go a long way. However, after the blank stare my daughter gives me as I praise her for her good behavior at the grocery store, I’m worried she may be tucking it away. Such as, “note to self: should I feel like getting mom worked up, misbehave at the grocery store.” I’m over analyzing this, right?

How do you deal with tantrums? What’s your advice on managing them?

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