Lately I have been pondering tantrums. Why on the days we imagine our little ones are going to have the best time, or we treat them, can it result in major meltdowns? This article, about that topic, is a great read and got me thinking in a new way. Why do our toddlers and children seem to lash out or have huge tantrums over the smallest thing? Yet can seem angelic when others are looking after them? Is it a reflection on us?
We know toddlers don’t have the same control over their emotions. They are not yet able to control impulses or understand the world in the way we can. In fact, to a toddler or pre-schooler the world is a pretty scary and confusing at times. Sarah Ockwell describes this brilliantly in her books and this article. Yet, it’s hard as parents to manage this, or to feel like we can have any control in these situations.
So, I propose a new way of thinking… That actually, tantrums are a credit to us! We make our children feel safe enough to express how they feel in a contained way. We offer them the security and safety that they can let things out with us, because we will always be there. They are in fact letting us know that they feel safe, loved and secure, and as a result totally free to express themselves. When they have been in others care and have had to keep it all in, they can come home and know its ok to let it go a bit. When they are not sure about new things, or can’t articulate how they feel, they know with us they can let that out, all be it through a tantrum, and they will be loved and accepted for who they are.
They are not trying to embarrass us, punish us, or behave badly. They are simply trying to make sense of the world, and know we are safe sounding boards. Exactly like us, we only open-up to those close to us, we may let ourselves cry or rant to those we love, because we know we can. So next time your child is having a meltdown, try to remember its because you are doing such a good job that they feel safe to do this with you!
So basically, tantrums show what a good parent you are, and that you are raising a child who is secure enough to express themselves with you (that’s what I am going to start telling myself from now on)
*I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please feel free to share, comment or ‘like this post here or on my Facebook page 🙂