A friend of mine joked that she hoped her almost four-year-old daughter, would be leaving the "tantrum-ing threes" and enter the "fabulous fours." Boy, I feel her pain!
There seems to be something different about preschool tantrums compared to toddler ones. In my own experience, toddler tantrums wereshort lived and were more about my son not being able to communicate what he was thinking or feeling. Now it seems like many of his tantrums have to do with his stubborn desire to get what he wants.
Last week when we went out for dinner, Kellan picked at his food and just wanted to watch something on Erik's iPhone. I wanted to finish my dinner. So even though I knew it was purely for our own convenience, we allowed him watch a video. After about 15 minutes, we paid the check and were ready to leave. We asked Kellan to put on his coat so we could go. He refused to cooperate or give up the phone no matter how many different ways we asked him. When Erik took the phone awayit started an embarrassing tantrum. Thankfully, we whisked him out of the restaurant and into the car quickly, but he kicked and screamed the whole car ride home.
After a timeout, a talk with Erik, and a bowl of cereal Kellan was completely transformed. Except for a blotchy face, there wasn't any other evidence of the massive meltdown. He was in a great mood when we put him to bed. I appreciate the quick recovery, but I'm still wondering why his reaction was so extreme.
I was able to find some good advice on how to react when my child flies off the handle, like keeping calm no matter how angry your child gets. I also think not giving but showing your child you love him despite his behavior is important. I understand it's probably maddening for a child to feel like he doesn't have a say, but you can't always get what you want.
What are your thoughts on how to handle tantrums?