Mommy, the Lion-Tamer

We moms have all seen it before: our little one…adamant about what she wants… Before we can even say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, she starts to throw a tantrum that would make any superhero cringe in shame. Shrieks go off the decibel scale, and the living room floor suddenly gets a good polishing from the little one’s rolling on the floor.

Such episodes really test a parent’s patience and ability to count to ten without feeling his or her face muscles twitch in anger. It’s all about how we handle it….how to let our kid know that she cannot use those tactics to wield power over us.

I, for one, have been witness to my daughter’s uncontrollable tantrums in the past. I have to admit, there were times when I couldn’t help but scream into a pillow, just to let off steam, and to redirect my anger. Consequently, she’d laugh whenever I did that, and then we both would end up forgetting why she threw a tantrum in the first place. The entire issue is then forgotten.

Now that my daughter’s five, the tantrums have subsided. She still gets angry, though, but things are more manageable now. When she’s fuming over something, or whenever she does something wrong, I look her squarely in the eye and talk to her in a stern voice. I tell her that although I love her, I am not happy about what she did. Before long, her eyes start to well up, and tears start streaming down her face. And then, she gives me a tight hug and says she’s sorry. I’m proud of her during such instances, because it’s an indication of maturity on her part, and on mine as well.

To each his own, I guess. I believe there is no cookie-cutter formula for disciplining our children. Not all methods work on everyone. I know some parents use the “time-out” system to discipline their kids. Some give them a light spanking on the hand. We just must learn to exercise our authority over our kid without inflicting any sort of trauma on her, whether physical, emotional or psychological.