The next door apartment where I live is occupied by a single mom and her 6 year old daughter. Every morning at around 6:30, the mother and child get into a screaming match. The mother gets pissed when her daughter is slow in finishing her breakfast. The child would start yelling that she wants hot dogs. The mom shouts at her child to hurry up getting dressed because the school bus will be arriving soon. The child would not budge because she's still watching cartoons. A screaming match would ensue, doors would slam, the child would match her mother's yells with her own loud crying.
And this goes on every single day.
Tantrums. Oh, am I so lucky that none of my children gave me this kind of stress.
For the last 2 years I have been observing the mother-child relationship of my next door neighbor. The mom has to work to support her child. She's still pretty young, I would say late 20's to early 30's. She has a live-in nanny to look after the child while she's at work. There are no young children in our apartment complex so the child usually stays indoors. During weekends, I would hear her drilling her daughter over spelling lessons, grammar lessons and forcing her to come up with artwork. Lately, I have learned that the child is doing poorly in school and that she has to repeat Kindergarten class.
One day, the child was screaming at the top of her lungs - "All I want is a hug!!!" and the mother's same decibel response was "I have to take a shower, I will be late for work!!!" Can you imagine the child's frustration over that? I would throw a tantrum too, if I were her child.
As a parent, dealing with a child with tantrums can be stressful. The most common advice passed down from generations is to ignore the child when the screaming starts. We should let the child know why they can't have what they want when they want it and then let them vent out their anger. After their fit, parents need to provide the child reassurance by telling them what needs to be done and when it should be done. If, out of frustration, a parent gives in to the child's demand, the child will recognize this as a manipulative tactic to get their way every time. We must look out for "trigger factors" to address the tantrum even before it starts.
We should also consider other factors that affect the child's behavior. Are they getting enough attention? Do they have a good relationship with their peers at school? Is the child stressed over something? Are we pushing the child too hard to excel in something beyond their capabilities? Tantrums are usually lesser in occurrence as the child gets older, however, if the child is over 4 years old and poses danger of hurting themselves or others, it might be time to seek professional advice.
|Photo courtesy of www.visualphotos.com|
Before I end, I want to share this beautiful poem by Dorothy Law Nolte entitled "Children Learn What They Live"
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVEDorothy Law NolteIf a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.If a child lives with jealousy, he learns what envy is.If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident.If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.If a child lives with sharing, he learns about generosity.If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are.If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.If you live with serenity, your child will live with peace of mind.WHAT IS YOUR CHILD LIVING WITH?
Happy Monday to all the parents around the world! Blessings of love and peace!