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If you are a parent chances are you have probably experienced the high anxiety, stomach turning feeling a tantrum can cause.
We’ve all been there and tantrums are, unfortunately, a fact of life for anyone with children. Tantrums grab hold of the parents and make them want to run a mile as little warning signals go off saying; “danger, danger, run, run.” There is nothing fun about a tantrum. The only people who find tantrums fun are grand parents —because it’s finally payback time as they watch their grown children struggle helplessly with their own little monsters. (just kidding)
Oh, Yes, we love our kids dearly, but I really do wish that tantrums were never invented. I’ve had my fair share of tantrums in the last 10 years. According to experts, tantrums or so called, toddler tantrums, start at around age 2 (terrible two’s) and usually stop around age 4/5. Well, not in our case. My oldest daughter (9) still has the occasional tantrum, and I’m still waiting for her to grow out of this. My youngest never went through the terrible two’s, she hit the terrible four’s BIG time.
Take today for example….
Today started as a perfect day, beautiful, sunny, warm, calm. We had breakfast together, we were all in a happy mood and started planning our day ahead. Nothing could go wrong..
Well, almost nothing…
Then it happened, out of the blue -I was in the middle of brushing my teeth- when Miss 5 walked in; “I want chocolate.”
“Ahaa”, I mumbled with toothpaste foam bubbling out.
” I WANT chocolate, are you listening mummy?”
“Yes, sweety, I can hear you” I managed to say while spitting out my toothpaste. “Now is not the time to eat chocolate, sweety, its morning and we’ve just finished breakfast, maybe later in the afternoon you can have a bit of your Easter egg??”
“But muuuuuuummyyyyy, I want chocolate NOW!!” “RIGHT NOW!!!”
And right in front of my eyes my sweet little 5 year old turned into a little monster. It was as if I was watching a movie, a scary movie that I was not part off. She was having an argument with who-knows-who. Her entire face started going red, then purple. I was in dis-believe, sort of stunned. I thought that maybe someone was pulling some kind of joke on me and they would jump out from behind the door, camera’s rolling; “gotcha!”
But nothing happened.
It was just me and my screaming, raging, daughter. This went on for about 30 minutes and I tried to stay calm the entire time. It worked, until 27 minutes. I had tried every thing, and started to run out of ideas. I tried to -desperately- think of all the past experiences and how I handled it, but I couldn’t think -the screaming was too loud- and it was getting too much to handle.
Trying to hold back the tears that were starting to well up , stomach turning, I was no longer calm. And instead, I was feeling desperate, frustrated, helpless and sad….
I plopped on the couch, my head in between my hands, and then it happened -as if by magic- my favorite song started playing on the radio. And I did what I always do; I turned it up and started dancing.
Within seconds I started calming down and feeling better again. And something else happened; my daughter stopped crying, just like that. I smiled at her and reached out for her to join in. We danced and we laughed again. Everything was better.
It taught me one important lesson that I will remember from now on;
If everything fails: just dance!