Yesterday, when I woke up at 6 AM and understood that nothing changed since I went to sleep last night, I broke down. Yup. I had a full-blown grown-up tantrum.
I cried, I yelled at my husband, I kicked the bed, and I allowed myself to feel and express the full range of my emotions. It took a few minutes, and when I felt I was done, I stopped it all and took an intense breath. I felt so much better. I could then start my day.
Why we have Tantrums All Wrong?
We’re not born or raised into a society that knows and appreciates the profound power of emotions. We’re afraid of our feelings, and we prefer our children not to feel any so intensely as kids do. However, the thing about feelings is that they don’t disappear just because we don’t want them here. Especially not the unpleasant ones. On the contrary. They grow and grow within us until we can’t take it any longer, and we explode. Break-down. Tantrum.
If we could all deal with our emotions when they arise, understand what they are trying to tell us, and follow their lead, we’d be less likely to explode. We’d be much more relaxed and much happier.
Big Feelings are Messengers of Unmet Needs
Imagine yourself, a probably tired mom (am I right?), who never goes to sleep when she wants to because she has to tend to the house, to the kids, to the partner. She needs to cook, clean, raise the kids, meet their needs, solve their problems, prevent them from fighting, and she does this around the clock. There’s never enough time for mom, and so she’s instantly upset and irritable, constantly tired, always on edge. And then, there’s the guilt. Why do I keep yelling? Why do I have no patience? Why can’t I stay calm and patient? Why am I such a bad mom…?
All this can be avoided by listening to your needs and feelings on the spot, knowing and believing that your needs and feelings are worth listening to.
Tantrums are Messengers of Unmet Needs
Until now, I was talking about you, Mama. A mature grown-up woman with a fully developed frontal lobe, impulse control, and experience; a lot of experience with life and people.
What about kids, though? Kids don’t have any ability to control or regulate their emotions; they have zero impulse control and no experience or knowledge of how this world works. Everything is new to them. Everything is overwhelming. And even if you think that “we’ve done/said/gone through this million times in the past,” – your child’s brain plasticity is so high that he’s not the same child today as he was yesterday. And this is true every single day.
So, what might happen if we change our parenting perspective a little bit? What might happen if the “problem” will become the solution?
When we punish children for feeling, we teach them nothing but how to close down, shut down, and not deal with their emotions. I know that this is not what you want; I know that you want to teach your child better ways of handling their feelings. I know you want to become your child’s coach to emotions. This is why I am giving you this list:
10 Reasons why Tantrums are a Good Thing/ 10 Magical Things You Can Do When Your Child Has a Tantrum
- Each time your child meets an undesired reality, you have a beautiful opportunity to teach him how to turn it around or to expand on the benefits of accepting what can’t be changed.
- If your child breaks down, it’s because he can no longer hold it in – he needs to let all these feelings out. Let him.
- Children don’t usually break down where they don’t feel safe. If your child breaks down in front of you, what he’s saying is that he needs YOUR help.
- Human beings are designed to mirror the emotions of those they are connected with. When your child breaks down in front of you, you have a beautiful opportunity to look into yourself and learn how your feelings contribute to his tantrum.
- Tantrums are a terrible opportunity for discipline; when emotions are SO high, your child can’t listen to what you say. These moments are invitations to pause, look within, and question feelings with curiosity instead of judgment.
- Tantrums teach us, and our children, about something fundamental to them. All we need to do is to listen.
- Tantrums are a fantastic opportunity to put all the guards down, put down the armors, and connect to those we love most because connection is the only way out of a tantrum.
- Tantrums are nothing more than an attempt to communicate.
- The more tantrums your child has, the more opportunities you have to RECONNECT with them.
- The more you use your child’s tantrums as an opportunity to connect – the fewer tantrums your child will have.
Many believe tantrums are a problem, a behavioral issue that has to be tamed. When we see it as such – we make things worse. Much worse. But don’t blame yourself; please don’t. This is how we were parented; this is the model we were brought up with.
Parenting from the Heart
Parenting is SO MUCH about REPARENTING ourselves. This is exactly what I do with amazing and courageous parents from all over the world in my membership program. I teach them how to love their own emotions, how to forgive themselves for not being perfect, and how to bring themselves to the world fully and authentically.
Equipped with all the knowledge and tools, they show up differently to their children; they parent with peace, compassion, and acceptance. They raise children who know their needs and feelings matter. Children who communicate and respect their own needs are children who respect the needs and feelings of others. Isn’t it what you want?
You can also join my free life and parenting support group on Facebook right here. Id be happy to meet you either way 🙂