Truth in Tantrums?

Laura
Laura

I don’t know what has happened around here lately!  It’s like everyone hit a new phase all at the same time, and to handle the newness, everyone has to throw a tantrum!  I don’t use that word lightly.  I’m talking throwing-ourselves-on-the-ground, kicking-the-air, crying-big-tears, screaming-mean-words TANTRUMS.  Get me outta here!

Laura
Anna
Anna

Oh yeah — And sometimes it’s like the Domino Effect. If one throws a tantrum, they ALL throw a tantrum. And I am left standing there in shock. 😳

Anna
Jessica
Jessica

Shock is sometimes the only emotion I have the energy to muster up.  And then other times I lose it and my frustration boils over onto everyone in close proximity. 😬

Jessica
Laura
Laura

Yes! It’s bad enough when one child had a tantrum, but it’s worse when two of them are going at once!  And if you add my tantrum in response? Well, it’s like: watchout!!

Laura
Anna
Anna

It definitely is. I know that feeling! It’s like – WHOA. What the heck just happened??? And what do I do now that my own blood pressure is up?

Anna
Laura
Laura

Such a good question!  How do you recover your own cool? And expect a toddler who can’t talk, or preschoolers who can’t reason, or even school age kids who are emotional to recover the calm that once was?

Laura
Jessica
Jessica

Please share the answer to that mystery as soon as you uncover it!!!

Jessica
Anna
Anna

Yes! Well, maybe it’s not as hard as we think it is?

Anna
Laura
Laura

Oh, wait, what?

Laura
Anna
Anna

Let’s consider some popular options. We could scream (as aforementioned!) or cry (also not necessarily helpful).  But we could just laugh. Right? So maybe we just choose to laugh (on the inside, of course!).

Anna
Laura
Laura

Choose to laugh?  What do you mean?

Laura
Anna
Anna

I have a friend who has two boys. Whenever one of them throws a tantrum, she chooses to stay on the “higher ground” so-to-speak and finds a way to laugh in the situation. It seems to de-escalate the whole thing.

Anna
Laura
Laura

So true!  Laugh on the inside to prevent screaming on the outside?  Is it really that simple?  

Laura
Jessica
Jessica

Maybe it is? I mean when you stop to think about it, usually what they are throwing a fit about is completely absurd.

Jessica
Laura
Laura

Yep! Did you know that to Peter it’s pure torture to hold Mommy’s hand in the parking lot? So much so that it’s better to just go limp and melt into a puddle on the cold concrete sidewalk! Or did you know that a pair of pants can cause someone (cough, cough, Jesse…) to scream and cry because they aren’t tied to the exact right tightness.

Laura
Anna
Anna

Well, Laura, tight pants can do that to a person. 😜  I’m kidding. My kids cry about the most random things too. Ashton was full-on crying in the van yesterday because Benjamin was STARING at her. How dare he. Libby cried at the end of preschool because she (drumroll please…) HAD TO GET HER COAT ON. BY HERSELF.

Anna
Jessica
Jessica

John had a full on cry-fest because he received the orange bowl for breakfast, which he claimed was his favorite color yesterday, but today it’s no longer his favorite color and he wants a bowl that looks exactly the same except a different color.  Not that this happened this morning or anything…😏

Jessica
Anna
Anna

Ahhh hahaha — Jessica, that does make me laugh! You gotta love kids and their antics! Especially when they are not your kids!

Anna
Laura
Laura

Oh, boy!  Kids are funny even when they are making you nuts!  Anna, you told me something once at MOPS that I always try to remember when tantrums or just our kids’ poor choices are tempting me to melt down too.

Laura
Anna
Anna

Really?

Anna
Laura
Laura

Yep!  It was very wise, but hard to implement!  You said that just because my child is having a bad day, does not mean that I have to have a bad day too.

Laura
Anna
Anna

Oh right! That’s from Kirk Martin’s resources Celebrate Calm. He says to remember that you can have a good day even when they are having a bad one. You don’t have to “fix” everyone’s day. Allow your child (or even husband) to have an off day. But don’t hand over your day at the same time.

Anna
Jessica
Jessica

That’s a good way of looking at it.  We really are the ultimate deciders when it comes to what kind of attitude we have.

Jessica
Laura
Laura

Yep!  Maybe the next time I witness a tantrum (and let’s face it, that will probably be today), I should pause, ask God to help me take that “high-road” and try to remember to laugh in the midst of the situation.  I can try to remember that I don’t have to throw a tantrum too!  And if I do, there’s still grace and opportunity to extend forgiveness and receive it back from my littles.

Laura

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:1-2, NIV)
  • “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NASB)
  • “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9, NASB) OR “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9, NIV)

Music to inspire you:


Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:


Living Out the Truth

 

Ideas to try:

  • In sticking with this option to laugh, instead of scream/cry, when your child (or teen) starts to melt down, try to internally laugh about it, like you would if your best friend were there with you. Ask God to help you take the higher ground. Say to yourself, “He/She is having an off day (or moment). But I can still have a good one.” Even think about what Kirk Martin recommends:  “I want you to communicate, ‘Your world is out of control. Mine’s not. I’ve seen this before and I can handle it.’”
  • Sometime you know you should laugh, but it’s just REALLY HARD! In that case, breathe in and breathe out a prayer, “Father help me!  I can feel my frustration mounting, and I’d really like to just break down with him/her/them!  Help me to laugh!”
  • When you do melt down, it’s ok.  Seek forgiveness from God first, and then from your children/spouse.  
  • We recognize not all temper situations are laughable. Sometimes we do need a good cry and God wants to walk you through that too. Sometimes there is something deeper going on with your child(ren) or with you.  We encourage you to seek God’s word for help on issues of control or anger or rage or anything else that might be going on that is weaved into your reaction or a child’s repeated tantrums.  And finally remember our suggestion below👇:

{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more.

In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}

 

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