Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tantrums: A Different Perspective

I originally wrote the contents of this entry as a response to the post below. But…my husband asked me to make it an entry, and well...ironically, today was a day in which I really felt like partaking in my very own tantrum. Admittedly, when I had the house to myself for a few moments, I did just that. A good scream. A few tears. A war against my hardwood floors with the vacuum and mop. Afterwards, I felt better, but not as good as I felt after a nice glass of wine and a surprise dinner of sushi from my comforting husband!


Here's a little secret about this Mama: I often feel like waging my own tantrums - to clench my fists in a terrific fit of tears and screams. Sometimes, over small things like cold coffee or another pile of dishes in the sink. Sometimes over big things like financial uncertainty and social injustice.

When my son is deep in the throws of a tantrum, I am reminded of our similarities. He is scared, frustrated, and unsure of his ability to control himself and the world around him. He and I are feeling similar things; he just hasn't been conditioned to control his response.

I'm a little envious of his ability to blow off the steam - to just get it out until he falls in a heap of exhausted boy mush. But...I also feel for him. I understand that this is just the beginning. Today he is frustrated because his train tracks keep coming apart. When he gets older, he will endure a broken heart, a lost love, a dissolving dream.

When I am intentional and empathetic in my response to his tantrums, I find that we connect on a deeper level. My compassion drives my reaction. I am able to control my frustrations and act with more patience. I am able to see my boy as a small person who is finding his way through a world of confusing rules and mixed-messages.

When I can control myself in the midst of his tantrum, I can see beauty in his freedom to rage and sadness in the reality that this is just the beginning.


1 comment:

  1. A great entry...well-deserving of its own space. It should change many people's perspective about toddler and infant tantrums. Viewing a tantrum through the eyes of a toddler should help us all sympathize more and perhaps even get rid some of our own frustrations.


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