Yesterday, my daughter (2 and a half) woke up from her nap in an awful mood. She whinged and whined, the slightest little thing would set off a flood of tears and it was becoming difficult to try and figure out exactly what she wanted.
We got through dinner, just, and she ended up eating the third food we offered her because I just could not understand what she was saying while she was upset.
She played a little, she said she wanted to see the baby but then got upset when he touched her and she alternated between wanting mummy and daddy and wanting them to go away.
Finally it was time for a shower and she made it clear she didn’t want to go. Which would be fine except it had been a hot day and we were all a little sweaty and stinky.
The baby was with daddy so it was just the two of us. She threw herself on the floor and started to cry.
I got down to her level and asked her what she needed.
There were no tears, just this loooooong whinge.
There was no longer any reason for the tantrum, she was just hot and bothered, and tired.
I had two options, continue on the path we were going and get no relief from the tantrum until bedtime OR break the tantrum.
I stuck my tounge out and blew a raspberry and then told her, your turn.
She whinged, but with a small smile.
So I repeated.
On her feet laughing and blowing raspberries.
Sometimes after we’ve been thoughtful, kind, considerate, understanding, after we’ve been gentle with them and allowed them to feel however they need to; the tantrum continues. And sometimes we need to break the tantrum for our own sanity.
Sometimes you just have to be silly, you have to make them laugh.
It doesn’t always work, and if there is a real problem like pain or fever it may be a quick fix, but making a sick kid laugh can be doing them a massive favor anyway. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine.
There is no point in wondering how you ‘look’ when parenting toddlers. Sometimes you just have to go with it and remember you’re being silly to make them happy not because you’re some sort of a weirdo.
So poke out your tounge, tell an awful joke, make a silly face – whatever it takes.
My daughter is quite fond of fart jokes.
I think as parents we’re so hung up on being in control that it’s impossible to let go because we perceive letting go as losing control, when in fact sometimes to have to let go to regain it.