When I left the hospital with my first baby, the nurse gave me a pamphlet that had a picture of a screaming baby on it with the words "Babies cry...A LOT". I knew to expect some crying. And my son most definitely gave me a run for my money a few times. But I was still taken a bit by surprise when the actual tantrums started around 8 months old. I had been under the impression that babies didn't throw tantrums until much later. Like two or three years-old. Silly mama, right?
It's important to remember that tantrums are developmentally normal. They happen to every child.
It is hard to be a kid (Don't laugh! It really is!) . Everything is too big or not safe. They are told "not now" and "you can't" and "no" a lot. They must depend on others to do simple tasks that we as adults do easily. It's frustrating to say the very least. They live in a world that is too big. Even just opening their snack is a challenge because the packaging has obviously been fused together with superglue. And while we are there to keep them safe and to teach them regulation, we need to remember that being corrected and parented can also be very frustrating for our kids. Add in the developmental milestones and the desire for independence that comes with being an infant, then a toddler, and then a preschooler and you've got a powder keg of will vs ability. That's enough to bring any adult into a hissy fit, right? It must really stink to have the understanding of independence but be unable to actually put it into practice.
All of that said, tantrums are hard on the mamas too. Especially when they come at the grocery store or in a restaurant. I have had to abandon my cart or get To-Go boxes more times than I can count and I've become a deep breathing expert, too ;) My tantrum mantra is "This too shall pass". Sometimes I have to repeat that to myself 50 times before it sticks. But it usually works to keep me patient and calm.
Do you have a tried and true method for dealing with tantrums? Has your child thrown a tantrum in a really inconvenient place? What advice would you give to a new mom dealing with tantrums?
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