10 of my worst responses to tantrums (that prove that I'm a bigger baby than he is)
Okay, there's something I need to admit here: When The Child is in the throws of a tantrum, most of the time I wind up acting more childish than he does.
This is not something that I am proud of, and I am constantly trying to come up with better strategies for dealing with myself during a tantrum never mind dealing with my son. Here're 10 of my worst responses to tantrums....
1. Kicking a cupboard (and breaking it, natch)
Better than kicking him, though, right?
2. Lying down on the floor and screaming along with him
At first he was so shocked that the tantrum did kind of abate, but now it only serves to goad him.
3. Hugging him against his will while he tries to fight me off
He doesn't like it, and having a small child trying to fight his way out of your arms is quite hard on the self-esteem.
4. Putting him in the other room and then walking next door and throwing a small car against the wall (marking the wall in the process)
Oh, I am the bigger baby here by far...
5. Screaming into a pillow
This is totally normal, right? Right????
6. Saying things like "Let's just gain a little perspective here..."
This does not work, not least for me who dissolves into tears a few minutes later because, ya know, "I'm the worst mother in the world..."
7. Doing sinister whisper-voice
Gets down to his eye level and whispers: "If you don't stop screaming right now, Muma's going run away and never come back." I was half-joking.
8. Doing shouty mum-voice
Now when friends have a bump to name I always recommend that they angrily shout the name to check what it will sound like in their mum-voice. I learned the hard way; any time I mum-voice shout The Child's name it sound like I'm barking like a dog. One advantage is that randomly barking like a dog usually has the effect of cutting the tension at the peak of a tantrum.
9. Giving him crisps
He has broken my gentle spirit.
10. Ignoring his tantrum and trying to reframe the relentless shouting as an auditory head massage
This does not work, and I can't ignore The Child, he's too precious. Wait, did I say precious? I meant persistent.