This post was inspired by the book, Reasons My Kid Is Crying, by Greg Pembroke who captures frustrating yet funny parenting moments through well-captioned photos of unhappy kids. Join From Left to Write on April 15 we discuss Reasons My Kid Is Crying. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
Tantrums at six look at lot different than they did at two. For one, they are far more verbal. Whereas a toddler will throw herself down on the floor kicking and screaming bloody murder, a six-year-old will engage you in a lawyerly argument about what an awful parent you are, how maligned she is, and how, after she is done haranguing you, she may never speak to you again.
At which point it takes everything in your maternal power not to say
In my dreams
But the one thing that remains unchanged is the endearingly irrational reasons she is having a tantrum in the first place. Here are a few of Sophie’s from the past couple weeks:
- I sang Let It Go wrong and now we have to start all over again.
- I told her it was time to take a shower.
- She wasn’t allowed to have Oreos and Marshmallows for dessert.
- I asked her to do her homework, and handed her the wrong sheet.
- I put broccoli in her eggs.
- I wouldn’t let her wear the same pants three days in a row.
- I asked her to put her jacket on when it was 40 degrees and raining.
- I took her out to lunch and to see a play, but she just wanted to be home with daddy.
If I was to snap a picture of Sophie in one of these low moments, I think she would bum rush me and break my iPhone. I’m not going to try it and find out. I’m not stupid. Besides, I wouldn’t want to. What might have gone unnoticed at two, would be humiliating at six. The sense that I was mocking her would only thrust her more deeply into her angry and injured position.
To be fair—if someone did that to me, I’d flip out too. (Despite what I may think, my reasons for throwing a fit are no more sensible at 43 than they were at 6—we want what we want and sometimes our desires defy all rationality.)
If there is one thing I have learned in four years of meltdowns, it is best to let the storm rage and blow over. To avoid stoking it with words or attention, making it a bigger deal than it already is.
In these moments, I find it best to take a step back, appreciate the absurdity of the moment and laugh, but silently and to myself.
Join me. What’s one of the reasons your little one flipped out recently?