“Tantrums are not bad behavior. Tantrums are an expression of emotion that became too much for the child to bear. No punishment is required. What your child needs is compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in.”
– Rebecca Eanes.
Our little one is now sleeping quietly in his room. Well, this condition is totally the opposite with what we have before. During dinner time he just threw a tantrum to us. Although I think he has done it before, but this time was the hardest one we needed to go through (up to now 😂). We didn’t know what the main reason why it happened. It took around 1,5 hours before it really stopped.
The issue that triggered the tantrum was actually quite simple: I asked him to eat his bread. He woke up from his nap a bit late and he asked for a bread for dinner. After I made the bread for him, he then refused to eat it and started to pull the safety belt on his chair and screaming at once. My husband and I didn’t agree with this kind of behaviour. We then asked him again to eat his bread. But then the drama began 😁. He cried, whined, yelled, screamed at us and yet still refused to eat his bread. If I were the only one there, I don’t think I would be able to handle it by myself and just gave up to the situation I guess. Luckily my husband was also there. He said that it’s a perfect timing (and condition) to teach him that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable (in this house). There is a fine line between being persistent and listening to your parents. In this matter, the situation that we as parents asked him to do is something that is good for him, thus he needed to listen to us. On the other hand, I guess he wanted to show it to us that he also has power to decide what he wanted to do and what not.
He sat on his chair at that time, so the action was not involving laying on the floor, kicking, hitting or rolling over on something😆. However it was still quite something. One thing that amazed me was that although he cried and screamed loudly, he didn’t throw the bread away to the floor (or to the air). He only tried to give the bread to us (many times lol) – which didn’t work. My husband said that he knew that if he throw the bread away then he would also loose his power to his will. What we did during the tantrum were just sitting by his side, watching what he’s doing and make sure that he knew that we disagree with his action. We didn’t do any physical action to him, no screaming or yelling back, no other activities in between (such as busy with the mobile phone or whatever), we just focused on him. There were sometimes a doubt on me that what we did to him wouldn’t work. 1,5 hour is not a short time when you have to hear a little creature crying and screaming! In my mind I wanted to just say “ok we’re done, just let him be hungry tonight as long as the screaming stops”. But my husband said that we just need to be patience and also show our persistence to him. Eventually he would feel tired and realized that the only solution to his issue is to do what we asked.
Apparently what my husband said was right. Not long after the last pause (which he took several times – crying and screaming took lots of energies you know! 🤣), at one time he started to listen to us. At first he was like giving answer to what we have said to him, and then slowly started to pick up the bread, and then started to bite it. The first time he did that, I was amazed. Persistence did work. Although in the end he didn’t finish the bread, at least he knew that when it comes to mama and papa – don’t play around. After the drama was done, we then gave him a big hug and a kiss – an important gesture to show him that despite what has happened, we still care and love him. And also we’re proud that he stands to his own will :).
He’s 18 months old btw. Too early to throw a tantrum to us kiddo! Well, good thing is that I hope it will end earlier as well. Otherwise it will be a looong and rocky journey for mama (and papa and brother and sister 😂).