Tantrums. We’ve all been there as parents. I remember very well the time I gave my 3-year-old some cut-up apples in a blue bowl (because blue was his favourite colour and the blue bowl was the right bowl earlier in the day). Only now this was not the right choice and we had tears starting and an escalating little voice telling me “I DON’T WANT THE BLUE BOWL!!”. It’s so easy as parents to lose our patience in these moments. It can feel overwhelming and we may become frustrated, yell at our child, and silently begin to question our competence as a parent.
Try to remember that tantrums are a normal stage of development and not a reflection of you as a parent. Big emotions can be scary for kids too and our role as parents is not to take away their emotions or stop the tantrums, but to help guide them through these moments by building up their capacity to manage these big emotions. Our children learn what to do in these moments by watching how we cope.
And if we do lose our cool? Apologize and take responsibility for losing it. “I’m sorry for yelling. Mommy was feeling frustrated and yelled.” Try to give yourself some compassion, you’re human and it’s okay for our children to see us that way. It helps our children learn that it’s okay to make mistakes and also role models how to move forward after a big emotional outburst.
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