As a kindergarten teacher tantrums was something I nipped in the bud right at the beginning of the year. I learned quickly that if you controlled the circumstances under which a 5 year old is allowed to throw the tantrum that in itself was enough to eliminate the tantrums. I would always tell the child... this doesn't work with me, but if you must throw a tantrum you will throw it over there and you have 5 minutes to pull yourself together. They also quickly learned that the tantrum did not get them their way. They didn't get to do, have, or have whatever they were tantruming over even after they were done. I would say with 90% of the tantrumers they realized that this isn't worth it to even try here. I had parents who had issues with these tactics at first, but then began to notice... hey if they don't tantrum at school why am I letting them do it at home?
Blake is a VERY strong willed independent child and has been since day one. Anyone who knows Richard or I in person would so not be shocked that we have a strong willed independent child! When Blake sets his mind to doing something there is little to stop him (more on this later today... I have pics and a story to share on this topic).
Blake is typically a good eater, but when he is done... he is DONE! For the most part he will either push his plate away or raise his hands up to say "all done". Not last night! He wasn't too crazy about dinner, or not hungry, or who knows what! He began to throw his food on the floor. I then took away his plate and just gave him a few bites of each kind of food (since he hadn't eaten much of anything and wouldn't tell me he was done). After he then threw this on the floor, I finally said... ok you're done and put him down. He then decided that Richard and I should be done too. This is something we work on often.... he is usually pretty good about going and playing or hanging out in the kitchen area, but letting us eat. He so did not want to let Richard finish his dinner tonight.
After being reminded that he needed to let Mommy and Daddy eat, he decided to take my cookbooks out of the closet they are in, and run away with them. This means we have to stop eating and get the books back. Both Richard and I had to speak to him about this behavior. At this point he was NOT a happy camper. He decided to stand next to my chair and scream... me being the good parent/ teacher just ignored this behavior and went on eating.
The thing I'm beginning to realize about a toddler (or at least with Blake) is once he gets himself all worked up, he can't calm himself down. The challenge is finding that fine line between I'm throwing a tantrum (ignore my choices) and I need help pulling it together (help me calm down). This is something I as a mother (and Richard as a father) will have to become cognizant of in order to help Blake move on when he's upset. Luckily for me... most of Blake's tantrums are microbursts and for the most part are over before they begin.