Friday, July 17, 2009

Our tantrum journey

Reading this post really made me think about what we've been up too. For various reasons (inexperience and a culture geared towards disbelieving and belittling children's emotions helped) we were rubbish at dealing with Deborah's tantrums. More specifically, we were taking it personally, and felt put upon almost and that she should meet our expectations and DO something, DEAL WITH IT and other obnoxious-itites. We went though the whole gamut of holding her, taking to her, time out, saying "we will be here when you've finished, you can have a cuddle then" and you know what, surprise, surprise nothing "worked".

Then, thankfully I read this book and realised that actually it is my little girl crying, in pain, anger hurt, frustration whatever. It doesn't matter, she is just crying (and headbanging, hitting, shoving whatever) and our job as parents is just to love her and hold her in that space so she can deal with it. Same job as always, nothing else required. And now we do hold her, and yes she still tantrums but it's a lot less, shorter when it happens and we're all a lot less grumpy.

Why are we (and by this I mean as a society) so geared towards punishment for distress? So sad! As the play on radio 4 said today (about a french woman falling in love with a nazi soldier and being persecuted by her village) "Hate is easy, but love is so much harder".

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