Isn’t it so cute when our children are babies – let’s say about eight months old – and they begin to explore the various ways they’ve discovered how to communicate? What about the first time they throw a tantrum? Now you know when they hit that scream, flail their little arms in the air with their mouth stretched wide open showcasing those cute little-sprouted teeth, you’re thinking to yourself, “you are so cute!”Well, that’s exactly what I was thinking today when Imri lost it after thinking I was taking his cup of water from him but I was trying to place his hands on the cup for him to hold it instead of me.
I digress…when you realize you’re witnessing said tantrum, what do you do? Try to console them? Sing? Rock them? Dance? Or, anything to quiet the fussing – because there are no actual tears – until alas, a happy baby is smiling back at you.
But what happens when these cute little tantrums start occurring more often? You’ll find yourself confined within the four walls of your house not wanting to risk taking little precious out in public from fear of another dreaded tantrum. And in public? Yeah, you’ll become the center of attention and exhaust yourself trying to calm a raving baby.
Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, you’re creating a little monster? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until the day I die; children are never too young to learn. Work on nipping that tantrum monster in the bud as soon as it rears its cute little head! Stop it now! Don’t give in. If you allow them to control you they will learn very young and very quickly they’ll be able to get their way simply by the way they behave.
So, after the third time in 10 minutes of Imri’s tantrum throwing, I decided, enough is enough. My thoughts…,” I love you but we ain’t doing this!” So, I sat him down on his play area in the living room, looked him in the face and said, “work it out, sir”, and walked into the kitchen to see what he’d do next – not that he understood word for word, but guess what, he turned off that tantrum within seconds.
The next question I pose is, who’s the parent and who’s the child? If it’s within our power, it’s our job to gain or regain control in all matters concerning our children We, as parents, begin shaping the behaviors, actions in our children from day one. It’s our responsibility to teach them now because as they grow, those tantrums will become outburst and that outburst will lead to them completely lashing out and probably lashing on someone. If we don’t get control now it will be that much harder to regain control later. I refuse to have a little juvenile delinquent on my hands who’d rather hang out on the streets or mix with bad company, drugs, and everything else that’s currently causing my stomach to knot.
Lord knows I pray for patience, love, and the right leadership via the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit to pour into my children on a daily basis but I don’t always get it right; none of us do. What’s important is that we lay a solid foundation for our children from the start so they will grow up cognizant of the expectations and standards we set for them. Will they always get it right? No. But guess what? Neither do we. What we instill in our children can never be erased.