The tantrum

The Daddy and daughter were playing star jumps…

Then her mood changed,
swift and without warning.
Her eyes turned red, and she shook her head.
“It’s not like that”
Star jumps are not like that, she said.

Her daddy turned away, and she was left standing
in the same spot where the
jumps had been.

Mummy gave her the options:
Go have your milk, or go lie down on your bed.
She wanted neither,
she looked just about to burst.
And when a voice was raised, she did.

Mummy led the crying girl to her room, saying,
“You can stay here until you are ready.”
There were some screams and a pail of tears.

Then daddy came and she asked to be carried
so she can feel safe and loved again.
But we said, stop crying first.
Calm down.
Her sobs turned to whimpers,
her tears hung suspended

Lost in their moment of folly.


After the episode, we hugged and made up, andย Vera said: “Sorry, papa…sorry, mummy”, without being prompted, forย the very first time.

I learnt a big lesson that day. That we don’t need to let anger take over when something goes awry. And it need not be a battle between the big people and the little people. Sometimes, our little people just need a bit of help processing their emotions — which can be humongous by the way.

And because we stayed relatively calm through the entire episode, she was able to regain her feelings of normal-ness quicker and with less drama.

But it’s not always easy. I lose my cool more often than I would like, and I have to keep reminding myself to be more patient. What’s more, Vera seems to be at a stage where she can turn moody pretty quickly, when things are not done in the way that she expects. It’s a real challenge trying to get her to see things a little differently, but I guess as with everything else, she will learn. We just gotta keep at it, and hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Funny how something as innocent as star jumps could trigger a tantrum so quickly. But thankfully, this one went away as suddenly as it came.

Here is a photo of our little Shrek in a fit, taken at about 12 months.

angry shrek

What do you do when your little one throws a tantrum?

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  1. says

    Be calm.. or at least I try to remember to be calm. Otherwise, I’ll get Alexis to take over while I find my cool.
    Sophie also has sudden moments of outbursts like that. But if I’m observant, I’l notice that she does that when it’s near her bed time or when she’s over tired. But just like you, Sophie was so apologetic towards me today. Guess they are learning that their actions can hurt us too ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Hi Susan!

      Me too! Hubs takes over when I’m losing it. Guess it’s always helpful to tag-team… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I’m also very wary when it’s near nap / bedtime, at the first sign of crankiness, I will usually drop everything and pack her off to bed.

      Isn’t it encouraging when they show signs of growth? When she came forward to apologise, I almost teared. It’s like the silver lining in a dark cloud… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. says

    When my toddler throws a tantrum and it’s one of those types where he’s just uncontrollable, we let him get it out of his system. There’s no point in trying to parent when they’re hysterical like that; it’s akin to when we’ve had so much road rage that our brains turn off and we become these crazy lunatics who will do things we’d never be proud of… well that’s sort of how kids tantrum. They lose that control.

    Once he’s calmed down then we start gently soothing him and trying to relate to his emotions. And once he’s *really* calm can we talk about what happened and what to do instead.

    • says

      It truly amazes me what big emotions our little ones have. I’m only just beginning to realise that they truly need our help to regain that control, and that by helping them feel safe (despite their being out of control), it’s a step in the right direction. I picked that up from Brain Rules for Baby.

      Thank you Sleeping Mom, for sharing your experience here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. says

    I am just beginning tantrum journey, and I am just trying to remain calm and consistent. I know this will be even harder as he gets older!

    • says

      Calm and consistent is great, Natalie. You may be surprised though, things may not get harder per say…well for us at least, Vera went through ups and downs, at one point we thought we had it all figured out, and then she threw us a curved ball. Haha, parenting is a bit like that, I suppose. ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. says

    I don’t quite have tantrums to deal with just very loud crying for few seconds. But even that I can’t tolerate it. I like, 90% loose my cool which prolongs the crying (and then to make it more fun for everyone, the little one would start wailing) and 10% stayed very calm. But it’s true, I see amazing results when I stay calm! sooooo haaaaaaaaaaard!!!

    • says

      I know!! It’s terribly hard!! Most times, I feel like throwing something out the window, only the fear of actually hitting someone stops me. I probably fall flat on my face 10 times for any one time that I actually miraculously stay calm.

  5. says

    Oh man I lose my cool often too and always have to remind myself not to yell or scream at her. I’m still trying to master my deathly glare which usually works most of the time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Haha, deadly glares and stares are very handy indeed, and on some occasions it works for us too! But not when her limit is crossed though…then we really have to put our creative problem-solving, tantrum-defraying skills to the test. But hey, it’s all a learning experience, this parenting thing…

  6. says

    Most kids throw a tantrum, because they seek attention, or they know grandparents will summit to them. Maybe some kids throw tantrum because they do not know how to express their feelings.

    Parents are always picking new skills (both soft and hard) to handle the kids.
    And yes, tantrum will manifest itself in various forms as the kids grows haha.
    Tough job to be parents ๐Ÿ™‚

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