Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Break

Spring Break 2012 introduced the McKeon family to a new family ritual known as the Temper Tantrum. I can say that it has really changed things up around here. To lay a little foundation, I have to say that we have an almost 8 year old that once ran up to me and half heartedly attempted kicking my leg and that was the beginning and the end of her outbursts. I am constantly reminded by friends, family, colleagues, well wishers and naysayers that there is still time, she is only almost 8. But she has a little sister and little sister has discovered the satisfaction of watching her mother lose most of her common sense by stomping her foot, shouting no several hundred times and then either screaming at the top of her lungs while she still inserts loud No's into the screaming or she throws stuff around and kicks anything near her and embarrasses her sister, forcing sister to ask me in a stage whisper, "what is she doing????"

I can honestly say that I have no idea what she is doing but I can tell you that I don't like it. And now I will list the things that do NOT work when your 5 year old is having a temper tantrum.

1) Do not scream back. This only enrages the child causing the tantrum to last longer and longer and get louder and louder. And yes, I tried this and I felt really ridiculous and stupid doing it.

 2) Do not turn the music up and try to drown the child out. This just makes whatever annoying song on the radio sound even more annoying and makes your kid scream louder. And yes, I tried this too and it especially does not work in the car.

3) Do not lecture the child or give them a speech. They are screaming and freaking out and could care less about what they look like to the neighbors or anyone else. And yes, I also tried this and I can tell you that the only person in the family that is concerned about what the neighbors think is the older sister who is running as far away from her little sister as she can because God forbid anyone she knows sees what is going on.

 4) Do not give in. Do not give the child a lollipop or a chocolate cookie or the cheesy crackers because they might stop making that terrible noise if you do. Because if you do give in, they will just do it again the next time they want something. And yes, I gave in, and if you are reading this and you think you never have done this or never will do it, you are wrong. Everyone has done it at some point and everyone will do it at some point and we like to call it "picking your battles".

5) Do not ask your mother or anyone else's mother what they would do in this situation. Because they will tell you that "honey in my day we did not tolerate that, we picked up the wooden spoon and we blistered that child's behind and it was legal". Or they say, "Girl, you better put that child in her place because no one likes a brat". Or "Listen here, that is nothing more than a reflection of poor parenting". And no, I can tell you that I have not asked my mother what she would do in this situation. She handled temper tantrums in her own way and I get to handle mine in my way.

Let me just say this much, I cannot wait for summer vacation!


Noctivagus Consulting said...

All true.

Whitney said...

So true! Been there! And just when I think it's getting better, kid #2 learns from big sister. Lucky you that you only have to hear it from one kid. Still no fun!