Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Way You Do the Things You Do

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I know that Pearlies of Wisdom has several readers who are parents of young'uns--PsychoToddler, A Simple Jew, Doctor Bean, Stacey, Tuesday Wishes, to name a few.

Have any of you ever stopped to really look at your kids as they throw little hissy fits and full-blown temper tantrums? Have you ever stopped to wonder how it would look if we adults emulated our children when we were just a wee angry? I think about it a lot and often demonstrate for my children what they look and sound like.

Luckily, my kids don't throw themselves down on the floor or bang their heads against something when they're angry (thank G-d that's long outgrown), but they do: stare me down with daggers shooting from eyes, yelp in frustration, whine incessantly, bark out noises of disgust, stomp in their shoes or in bare feet (I call that "slap happy"-- their footfall slaps against the hardwood floors), arch their backs as they stand on tiptoe and screech for a moment or two.
Of course, when I stop them and say, "What if I would do what you're doing when I'm angry?" and proceed to demonstrate, it looks comical. But when they do it, they're in the heat of the moment and oblivious to how they look or what they sound like.

There have been times when one of them is ranting about something or other, and I hush them up, saying, "Please be quiet. I can't even hear the voices in my head." They look at me quizzically; yes, my offbeat sense of humor works on them and they lower their tone.

A child is lively; a child represents life. Yes, we all would like to have perfectly, well-behaved children, but sometimes these "sparks" that they emit are what we need as parents to remind us of why we chose to be parents. We wanted to help mold a child's life and leave our marks on the world. Okay, so in their anger, some kids prefer to leave marks on the wall or on the furniture or floors, but it isn't really anything we can't handle...right? [as she arches her back, stands on tiptoe and screeches in frustration]


A Simple Jew said...

Yesterday, my daughter jumped up and down screaming because I would not give in to one of her many demands. My reaction: I jumped up and down frantically making noise as well. My daughter immediately stopped, gave me a funny look, and then started laughing.

tuesdaywishes said...

Most kids outgrow temper tantrums and whining as soon as they find out that they don't get what they want. (Of course, if they do get it...) Some don't, though. They just need to do a little screaming and banging to relieve their frustration. I tell them that they may do so, but to take it down to the basement or up to their room, not hurt anyone or damage anything. I think a little pillow-punching can be very constructive.
Your humourous approach amuses me, but one of my kids is very sensitive to being teased, and usually someone making fun of her is what provoked the tantrum in the first place.

Stacey said...

My almost-4-year-old's latest thing is to say, "I hate you" when she doesn't get her way.

I can't stand this. I will not tolerate it. I am nipping it in the bud and trying hard to teach her about respect and that even when we're angry with someone we love, we still love them -- not hate them.