Toddler Tantrums? Ugh. When your babe’s throwing a full blown wobbly there’s some life lessons in there for you, Mum.
Don’t believe us? Read on.
Toddler tantrums. They’re thrilling, aren’t they? Personally, I never feel more alive than in those moments when my 18-month-old is sprawled on the floor, banging his little fists and screaming like a banshee. We’re living in glorious times at my house.
When I really think about it though, perhaps my toddler’s tantrums are teaching me more about life than the obvious fact that I’m the meanest parent in the universe. Or that he should totally be allowed to climb up on top of the piano and chuck the vases onto the floor.
Maybe our toddler’s tantrums are the key to our own enlightenment? Because somewhere in the midst of those hot tears and that angry, red little face, I have discovered some truths that we could all stand to learn.
1. It’s important to embrace your emotions
I’m not a crier. I don’t cry over movies or TV shows. As teenagers, my sisters and I were regularly (lovingly) referred to as “cold heartless bitches” by my Mum, who was not only left to cry alone on movie night, but openly mocked for it. (Sorry Mum!) I have become softer in my adult years (especially since becoming a mother myself. Thanks hormones!), but I still try to avoid emotion like the plague.
Toddlers don’t have this same controlled, guard in place. Nope, when they feel something, they feel it big. With an almighty whoosh, those feelings come out and god help anyone within earshot. And then they (eventually) move on, often forgetting what it was that got them so rattled in the first place. Toddlers are smart. We should have feelings like toddlers. Emote like you’ve never emoted. Let it out. Let it go. They’re onto something… right?
2. Be passionate about something… even if nobody else gets it
What drives a toddler tantrum? Passion, obviously. Sure, to you and me, that passion might seem misguided, but what do we know? And what does it matter? Your toddler is declaring, loud and proud, “I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THIS!” Frankly, we should commend this kind of exceptional commitment to a cause. When was the last time you felt as strongly about something as your toddler feels about crustless triangle-cut vegemite sandwiches? When were you so passionate about ‘taking the fish for a walk’ you’d rotate on the tiles covered in snot? Toddlers get it. They are the small Italians of feelings. Passion drives us to feel alive, so embrace your own passions and tell the world!
3. Life Isn’t as Unfair As We Think It Is
Ah, perspective. It makes the world go round. We all receive our fair share of injustices, but nobody more so than a toddler. Of course, the difference is you and I have a much more well-formed insight into life and how it vaguely works. We know that when we tell a toddler “no” it’s because we love them or we’re looking out for them, not because we want to cruelly snuff the spark of joy from their eyes.
Yet when we face our own “injustices” we all channel our inner toddler, stamp our feet and shout “That’s unfair!” And sometimes it is. But sometimes, we really would actually benefit from having a parent to step in and tell us how silly we’re being. Preferably before we cause an embarrassing scene, vomit because we’re totally out of control and later go home and realize it all for ourselves, hours later.
So parents, next time your little blessing is splayed prostrate on the floor in tantrum mode, I encourage you to pause and pick up some life tips too. Your toddler is just trying to teach by example, and his lessons could very well change the way you look at life!
(Or you could just look at them being a total little ratbag and think ‘It must be midnight somewhere’ as you try and justify a wine…)