The 5 Stages of Tantrums from a Parent’s PerspectiveBeth Anne Ballance
My friend Nish and I were discussing toddler tantrums the other day — how we used to adore phantom baby kicks until the first public tantrum and then BOOM! those kicks and all baby fever went away. Funny how that happens, right?
Basically, toddlers are just so full of sassy-pants-ness.
And by that I mean that I have a glass of wine almost every night when Harrison goes to bed and it’s a little lame because HELLO, CLICHE! but also HELLO, CLICHE THAT IS A CLICHE BECAUSE IT’S TRUE. So then I started thinking about how I handle tantrums and I am admittedly either the best or the worst, depending on how my day went. I wish I had more patient days where I redirect and don’t lose my cool, but I’m a typical momma with flaws and a messy heart and there are days where I straight-up roll my eyes at my kid.
I’m not proud of it, but then again I’m also not proud of his behavior.
So here’s the five stages of tantrums that I seem to go through each time:
Denial 1 of 5This is not happening. Not in the cereal aisle at Target. Not at my in-laws' house. Not at the dinner table in a restaurant at the end of a long day. This is not happening. Just ignore it. That's what the experts say, right? This is NOT happening.
Anger 2 of 5Alright, kid. You went & pissed off Momma & YOU WON'T LIKE IT WHEN MOMMA GETS MAD. Go sit in time-out. No, do not talk. Hush. I hate this stage.
Bargain 3 of 5Please stop screaming. PLEASE. Here, have a book to read! Have a necklace to chew on! Have some fruit snacks! Shhh, please stop screaming.
Depression 4 of 5I am the worst mother ever. I can't even control my kid. Why did I think I'd be good at this? I lost my temper & now I feel awful. Everyone is watching me & judging me. Worst. Mother. Ever.
Acceptance 5 of 5Whatever. He's 2 & everyone knows that 2-year-olds are like this. He's frustrated & tired & so am I. Let's just call it a day & leave.