Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Toddlers: You're Being Too Easy if He's Not Throwing Tantrums

I cannot remember where I read this, but I recently was looking up some random thing on the Internet (I can't even remember what) and read something talking about toddlers. It said, "You are being too easy on your toddler if he isn't throwing tantrums sometimes."


What does that mean?

That means that if your toddler is always so happy there are no tantrums going on, it means you are giving in to your toddler rather than setting limits. Toddlers will have tantrums when they are met with limitations. They will not happily accept being told no or being told they must obey. Tantrums are normal. If you are not experiencing tantrums with your toddler, it means you are letting your toddler call the shots.

Now this doesn't mean we embrace tantrums or ignore the tantrums. We work with the toddler to teach him to obey and to say "yes mommy." We teach them that tantrums are not the way we respond when we are upset. Toddlers respond naturally with tantrums. We can help them learn to control that temper. So when your toddler throws that tantrum (yes, WHEN), take it as a sign that you are doing the right thing and then help your child move toward being able to not throw tantrums in the future.

Here are my posts on tantrums:

11 comments:

Rachel Hubbard said...

Man, I needed to hear this today! We are in the thick of "who's in charge?" at our house and that leads to some major meltdowns!

Jody said...

I needed this today too, Val! Thanks!

The Intellectual Housewife said...

The Toddlerhood Transitions book (companion study to Toddlerwise) says the same thing! This was actually the lesson we were on this week in our class. It is nice to hear, especially when so many of my friends with toddlers report very few tantrums and my toddler has at least one meltdown a day :)

Jessica Smith said...

Ooh I love that! You are spot on! I think that will give me a confidence boost next time we're at the store or doctor's office and the tantrum happens.

Valerie Plowman said...

I am glad it was helpful!

Public tantrums are definitely embarrassing. But you can usually tell the child who is thowing a tantrum because the child is being a child trying to fight authority (testing the waters) and the child who is throwing a tantrum because she has learned that it gets her what she wants. At least I can from this perspective. People who haven't had kids have no clue usually :) Anyway, you can tell by the parents demeanor. And I always feel bad for the parent who is obviously experiencing the store tantrum for the first time in parenthood. They always look so mortified and confused! But it happens to all of us. We all face it with each child--at least one time.

Elizabeth said...

What great timing on this post! Thank you so much. I would love to have your take and advice on a common occurrence at our home. I am a SAHM and our 21 month old daughter talks about her Daddy all day long, I know she misses him during the day, but when he comes home she wants to stay glued to my hips. We've talked about how we show love to Daddy - and been requiring her to give that love, but she always throws a fit and wants to stay with Mommy. Within 15 minutes, she wants all of her Daddy's attention. That is part of a larger issue - she doesn't like to share her Mommy's attention. When I am on the phone, or holding hands with my husband, she insists on giving her the attention. I recognize this but it is difficult to teach her patience and that she does not get 100% of the attention. Help me, please! Baby #2 is on the way. :)

Rachel Norman said...

Oh now that is a GOOOOD reminder! Also about the throwing tantrums in public. I so know what you mean about telling the difference by the parents' demeanor A frantic "okay, okay, here's the chocolate" response is different than hands across the chest "get up, we're leaving" from a contolled mother!

Valerie Plowman said...

Elizabeth,

Have you tried doing some couch time at all?

Valerie Plowman said...

Rachel--yes! And the poor shocked parent who is obviously facing this for the first time. And the parent who looks slightly amused and has obviously encountered such things before and seems to be thinking "HA! You think that will work!?!?!"

erin m judd said...

ummm.. thank you? My husband laughed when I read this to him. Because our 16 month old throws quite a few, and they are not small ;)

Katie said...

Tantrums are definitely a part of life when you have a toddler! Sure, giving in may post-pone the tantrums for a while, but if you continue to give in you end up with a child who has only learned to ask for something by throwing a fit! I agree with a lot of the "terrible two" advice here:http://www.toddler-tips-and-tricks.com/terrible-twos.html, especially about giving toddlers choices over the things that don't matter. If they get to pick their fruit or their cup or whether to play cars or blocks, it helps them still have that sense of control when they can't pick things! At least, I think it's helped with my little ones! ;)

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