This week my daughter and I have been home suffering with a bad cold, so I haven’t felt like writing much. In the meantime I’ve been really enjoying getting into the world of blogging, and reading blogs from other parents and joining in link-ups that I’ve been discovering via twitter.
On the #BloggersClubUK link-up I came across this post Made To Feel Like A Failing Mother which really shocked me.
A mother took her son to a local singing group at a children’s centre. He ended up having a massive tantrum, and she left. Later on she was called up by a staff member from the children centre recommending they talk to another woman who worked there to discuss her son’s ‘behavioural issues.’
This is just wrong on so many levels. Tantrums are a completely natural, normal part of healthy child development. Tantrums are not a form of ‘bad behaviour,’ they’re a way of expressing emotion. When they happen in public it can be extremely embarrassing, and we all do our best to deal with them while worrying about what people will think of us!
This mum absolutely did the right thing, she took her son out of the singing class, and stayed with him till he was in a better mood.
Sometimes toddlers can tantrum for a long time, and all we can do is ride out the storm until they pass. This is actually the best thing we can do. To let our children get through their moment of upset, and out the other side. They’ll be in a better mood because we’ve given them the space to have their feelings.
In my post here, I share how listening to children’s crying, and tantrums is actually key to keeping their behaviour on-track.
Sadly, there isn’t a great deal of understanding about the importance of allowing children to express their feelings. Sadly there are people out there who will look at a tantrumming child and think that the parent is doing something ‘wrong.’ Sadly a lot of parenting advice focuses on stopping tantrums, and inadvertently teaching children that expressing emotions is wrong. I’d steer clear of any parenting advice that focuses on tantrums being a ‘behavioural issue.’
Next time you see a parent dealing with a tantrumming toddler, just remember this, that they are a good parent, doing their best. Instead of rushing in with judgmental looks or ‘advice,’ give them an understanding smile, some warmth, and support. We all have hard days, and we don’t need to make parenting any harder for each other!
You might also like, Why This Isn’t Another Article About How To Stop Tantrums, and What To Do When Children Have Tantrums In Public.