That is the question…
My son can throw an epic tantrum. To me they are so awful I would rather have bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails then to have to listen to a tantrum. Something about the tantrum sets me on edge, I hear this is normal for mothers but that does not make it any easier to deal with. I have been told by two different medical practitioners that mothers are wired in such a way that our cortisol, the stress hormone, levels go through the roof when our kids cry/throw a tantrum. I can attest to this because I feel like I can’t function when my son throws one.
In our case, tantrums are the one sure-fire way that Killi knows how to communicate. Since we have no words to work with, we have screaming and tears. He knows now that the louder he cries the more likely he will get his way. The tantrums are what finally put me at my whit’s end and catapulted me into action to find help, which luckily I have found at the Reed Institute.
For some reason last week, my toddler spent every morning throwing a fit. I couldn’t quite figure out why but then I realized he is having some serious separation anxiety leaving for therapy without me. After a couple of days of no mommy at therapy, he figured out what was going on and freaked out all morning until he would have to leave. If he could have physically crawled under my skin to be closer to me he would have. I couldn’t take anymore so I emailed our doctor to see if this was normal behavior.
He assured me that tantrums were very normal for kids this age but for the sake of our treatment plan with Killian we have to make some adjustments. The next day, I had a meeting with our doctor to get some tips on how to help with the tantrums at home. My son is a perfect angel on the way to and from therapy with our nanny and during his therapy sessions. Since Killi does not have the ability to communicate, he cannot negotiate to get his way. I have been instructed to stop the tantrums before they start. To be honest, I was a little nervous about this idea. All I can think is I am going to create a monster/spoiled brat just giving this holy terror his way all of the time. The doctor must have seen the concern in my eyes when he said this and he reassured me this is only temporary until my son has a few more vocabulary words. He said there is no way that saying yes to going outside or watching a movie when Killian wants to will create a bratty child. He did say that if we keep saying no and let the tantrums continue and then give into whatever the kid wants mid tantrum will create the whinny, bratty kid that will come to learn all he has to do is cry and throw a fit to get his way. If we prevent the tantrums before they start everyone is happier! This seems so silly when you say it out loud… Duh! Everyone’s life will be happier and you will have a peaceful house but why couldn’t I come up with this on my own? When I asked our doctor he laughed and asked if I had gone to school for 15 years to learn this… 🙂
As soon as I stopped trying to be so controlling with Killi and his play schedule, life really became a lot easier. There are some things I will not give in to, for example cookies for breakfast – sorry kid not happening (if your daddy won’t let me eat Oreos for breakfast there is no way you get to), coloring on the walls- not happening. On the other hand, when my beautiful boy brings me 101 Dalmatians, hands it to me, smiles and says please, instead of saying “no it’s too early for a movie” I have a doctors permission to give my boy that movie time without any guilt and everyone is happier for it. It has only been a few days of this but mentally I feel much better and I know my kid is happier.
So for now I choose no tantrums and a happier household! It really should be “happy toddler, happy life” but I guess that doesn’t rhyme as well…