To the parents of a kid who throws tantrums, from the parent of a kid who threw tantrums:
I’m sure you need to hear those words. I sure did. Because smack dab in the middle of an epic meltdown, the last thought running through my mind was that I was doing a good job. But I was. And so are you.
And you’ll hear and see words that’ll attempt to have you believe otherwise.
You’ll be made to think that you ought to be able to control another human and their emotions (spoiler alert: you can’t).
You’ll be made to think that you’re raising an entitled child who will become an entitled adult (that one really cracks me up, because we all know that kid of yours isn’t melting down at the store because you gave in to their pleas, so by standing your ground and setting a boundary, you’re actually doing the exact opposite).
You’ll be made to think that “good parents” don’t have kids who throw tantrums (without any consideration that every single child is different from the next, which is exactly why my oldest has still never thrown a tantrum in his life, despite having the exact same parents who used the exact same techniques).
And you’ll be made to think that those big emotions of theirs will never be tempered and will follow them into adulthood where they’ll create a whole big mess for them and the beautiful life you’d hoped they’d have (because people, especially children, are clearly incapable of growing and changing and learning new, healthy, better ways of dealing with their stress and frustration and confusion and exhaustion).
And I know how anxious you feel to go out in public. I know how weary you are of doing everything in your power to help your sweet babe find a different way of communicating their emotions and desires. I know you want so badly for the world to get a glimpse of the incredible little human you see instead of all the screaming and flailing.
So to the parents of a kid who throws tantrums: keep up the good work. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep guiding them and teaching them and loving them well through the hard. It won’t always be this way.
And one day you’ll look back and realize all your hard work paid off. That they’re communicating and controlling their emotions because you led with love and compassion, despite feeling so exhausted and uncertain.
I know you don’t hear it often enough, but just know: you’re doing a good job.