Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ten Ways to Cause a Tantrum when None is Warranted

From Parents

As parents, we’ve all seen it, our baby slumped and snoozing in their car seat. Head lolling at an unnatural angle and mouth agape. You think, “Aw. Poor thing. They must be so uncomfortable.” You want to fix it. In fact, as their mom (or dad) you are compelled to fix it. You lift their head gently from the side, trying to find the “tipping point” between front and back and side to side. You think you’ve got it. Ahhhh…the head is balanced. Success. Then they wake up and the screaming commences.

The point is, everyday our children are happy. We just don’t know it. So we continue on our quest to make their lives more pleasurable, more comfortable, “happier.” We shift, move, change, sanitize, anticipate and assist them with the hope of making their world a better place. And what do we get for it? Banchee screams and a migraine for our efforts.
The best advice I ever got as a parent and what I'd like to pass on to others: NEVER make a happy baby happier.

And at all costs, avoid the following 10 most common ways parents cause tantrums in otherwise peaceful and content babies or toddlers:

1. Moving your child from the car into the house so they can have a more comfortable nap. Unless you have a kid who is a guaranteed "transferer" let them sleep even if you have to sit in the car with them in the driveway. Or worst case, move the entire carseat with your sleeping child.

2. Changing your child out of a wet diaper in the middle of the night. If the wet diaper doesn't wake them, you shouldn't either!

3. Adding to a picture they're working on...just to make it "prettier" (or neater, or color IN the lines). Step away from the crayons.

4. Paying for expensive seats to a live kids show and insisting they watch every last second of it. Paying for the seats won't affect your kid's happiness one way or the other. Making them sit through the whole show (plus intermission!) - long beyond their attention span to justify the cost will. It's ok to leave.

5. Adding salt, cheese or ketchup to food without asking.

6. Holding onto a baby's pacifier (lovey, favorite blankie, whatever) and insisting you need to take it home to wash it if it's fallen on the ground before returning it. A little dirt never hurt anyone. Abide by the 5 second rule (or stretch it out if need be) and give the precious object back.

7. Fixing their shirt.

8. Brushing their hair.

9. Popping a puzzle piece into place even though your child has been struggling to finish the pretty picture. This could definitely become a "no good deed/puzzle piece goes unpunished" moment.

10. Seeing your pre-school daughter prance out of her room in an outfit worthy of a circus performer and proclaiming, "why don't you wear that nice outfit I BOUGHT YOU." This is tantrum kindling for sure.

I agree with most of these, except brushing her hair. That has to be done, and always brings on a tantrum. There are few things I can do to alleviate the tantrum, especially when I'm alone and only have 2 hands a 3 braids going. DO you agree with all of them? Do you have any to add to the list? Enlighten me!


Kiki said...

OMG! I'm so guilty of the fixing their head position in the car when they are asleep and look uncomfortable. I just can't not do it. LOL. Cute post.

Long Journey Big Dreams said...

I love this list!! Things that people do all of the time but never really think about twice!

I wonder if making them change their shoes when they are on the wrong feet and they are so proud for just doing it themself is one?