The Truth about Tantrums

Imagine talking to your parents and explaining your deepest feelings and fears just to have them respond with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
They ask you questions like “what was that?” or look at eachother and ask “what does he/she mean?”.
That would probably be the most frustrating feeling.
This can cause hurt feelings and potentially a fight.
Now think about your two year old.
They have finally developed all of the skill sets to conquor their universe.
The stairs are no longer a journey but a quick few steps.
They’re communication skills, just like their flavor palate, are now developed enough to point out the things they like and the things that they don’t like.
Once in awhile they get really tired and irratble because of that nap that they fought off.
Since they are new to the art of speaking and are very comfortable with the language of crying this now becomes their default response when they are too tired to think.
Here comes the famous tantrum.
It’ a tornado of emotions, screams, yelps, tears and on occassion a stop, drop and roll motion.
It also usually happens in a very public place.
INSERT EMBARRASSMENT HERE.
Nate is not a huge tantrum guy.
For that reason exactly, when he goes into tantrum mode it is exteme.
The first time it happened we were at a mall that is chock full of everyone that I would rather avoid when in these types of situations.
He was very young and insisted on walking alone even though he fell after a few steps.
The moment I tried to put him into the stroller he went into full meltdown mode and there was nothing stopping him.
Rather than try to argue or bargain with him I just let him get his frustration out.
He noticed that his behaviour was not affecting me and slowly began to unwind.
It was in that moment that I realized he wasn’t crying because he was being a brat, he was crying because he was having a hard time communicating his feelings.
As adults we verbalise most everything and the things we don’t say we show through our facial expressions.
This has become second nature to us and we forget that it’s a skill set that takes time to develop.
To toddlers this is a brand new skill that is extremely elaborate. Like with all new endeavors, they face challenges and set backs. Different facial expressions to convey different messages.
Different vocal tones to explain our emotions.
This is all really complicated stuff so it’s no wonder that they lose it once in awhile.
If you ask a dentist to explain the theory of relativitey they would probably feel frustrated too because it’s something foreign to them.
So next time your toddler has a Rambo style meltdown at the mall, ask yourself what they are trying to tell you rather than getting annoyed and yelling.

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