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Toddler Tantrums; The Terrible Two's

Aug 18, 2007
While I was pregnant with my first child, I read about six parenting books: Now I now everything about parenting, right? WRONG!!!! This I found out very soon after my baby was born. I was going to be this perfect parent; always positive and I remember saying to someone: "I will never say the word, NO." My eldest son is quite a character. I found myself saying no all the time!

And then the tantrums . I read all about them. You are supposed to ignore them, right? Well, my eldest son's character is just so that you cannot ignore him. He just simply won't be ignored. This particular tantrum went on for half an hour.

He was kicking and screaming. So, after half an hour, I removed myself from him. He followed me all over the house, kicking and screaming. After half an hour I put him in his room, and closed the door. Let him scream as much as he likes, I thought. Was he satisfied with kicking and screaming? No, he picked up a wooden chair that was just his size, and started throwing it at the door. He was quite strong for a two-year-old. Something in me couldn't stand by and watch this. This was just wrong. I went into his room and gave him one good whack. That was the last tantrum we ever had.

Was I right to do this? To use violence? No, I wasn't. Did it work? You betcha!

My second son was totally different; when he had a tantrum at the terrible two's stage, I ignored him. He was crying and crying and crying for about 15 minutes, saw that no-one was paying him any attention, and stopped. Just like that. Was I right to do this? Yes! Did it work? Yes!

What am I saying? Should you hit your child or shouldn't you? Should you read parenting books or shouldn't you?

By all means, read parenting books. It will give you some sort of background from where to start, and it will give you ideas. Will you be the perfect parent? Well, you can try. But I don't think anyone can be perfect.

The most important thing to remember is that each child is different. What works for one, does not work for another. My eldest child wanted the comfort of knowing that someone is in charge. He is still like that. He is a very strong leader himself, and he has a strong sense of the leadership system, and of hierarchy, and he needed to know at the age of two that his mom is in charge. The only way I could show him that was with something he could understand at the age of two. My second son didn't need that.

When you have your own children, you will find out that parenting books or "child psychology" just don't work the same way on all children. This is because they are all different with different personalities. When raising children, you need to do what is right for a child's personality. "But it is not fair to the other children to treat another differently." I hear you say. Wrong again! I will illustrate this with the following story:

As a teacher, I get a class full of children in the beginning of the year. I tell them that I will treat each of them differently from each other, and allow some kids to do something, and others not. And then I wait Very soon I hear . "But miss, that won't be fair! Why can some get to work on the computer and not others?" Then I take an object, put it out of reach, and ask a short child to retrieve it for me. The short child can't reach it, so he or she has to stand on a chair in order to get to it. I thank them and put it back in the same spot. I then ask a tall child to get it for me. The tall child grabs the object easily without standing on a chair. I then tell the tall child that he has to stand on a chair to get it, because the other child did it. Otherwise it is not fair.

I get incredulous stares from all the kids. I then explain that each of us is different. Some are tall, some are short, some are fat, and some are thin. Some learn with books, others need the computer. Some learn with props, others learn without.

Some learn quietly, others need to talk themselves through their subject matter before they get it. I then tell the children that each of them will learn in my class, the way they need to learn which will be the best way for them to remember and use what they've learned. Is that not fair?

The children so get that. Why can't some parents?
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