Temper tantrums are one of the most annoying and most embarrassing things your child can do. Next time your toddler is screaming, crying, and beating their arms and legs on the floor at the store, instead of getting frustrated, try to remember that tantrums aren’t all bad. Here are five reasons you should thank your child for his or her tantrums.
1. Thank you for speaking up when something’s not right.
Your child is throwing a tantrum because—to them—something’s not right. They’re unhappy with how something is going, and while this fussing may be out of line, considering you are the parent and they are the child, at least they are still speaking up. As your child grows older, they can funnel this trait into the more adult solutions of speaking up for the underdog, or not letting themself get passed over for promotions at work.
2. Thank you for living true to a child’s nature.
Children have tantrums. It’s a fact, and it’s going to happen. Yes, it’s extra embarrassing when it happens in public, or when you can’t calm your child down. But everyone knows that it’s normal. Children have tantrums, and your child is just being a kid. They’re exploring their emotions and trying to advance as well as they know how. If this means throwing tantrums to deal with their confusing feelings, then this is what they should be doing. They’re not going to be children forever, and they’re not going to throw tantrums forever. They are doing what they feel they should do now, so they can learn and grow and do differently in the future.
3. Thank you for forgiving us as parents and letting us try again.
Children don’t hold grudges. They love you, and then they get angry at something, but then love just as strongly in the next moment. It’s a beautiful occurrence and it can only happen while your child is so young and naive, exploring the emotions and ways of the world. Let your child throw their tantrum, and be there to hug them and reassure them when they’re done. You’ll forgive your child and they’ll forgive you, and you can both start again from scratch. Think of it this way: it’s way easier than it will be when it’s time to deal with surly teenagers!
4. Thank you for trying to express yourself.
Face it, at their age, toddlers don’t have a great vocabulary. They can’t tell you exactly what they’re feeling and why. Imagine trying to express yourself but having extremely limited abilities. It would be frustrating, right? And imagine the person you’re trying to explain it to just doesn’t get it. You’d want to cry, right? And flail about on the floor until you’re comforted and understood? Well, maybe you wouldn’t do that, but that’s the only way children know how to express themselves, so at least they are trying! As they continue to throw tantrums and gauge your reaction to this behavior, they’ll be more likely to adapt and try to express themselves in different ways.
5. Thank you for caring.
Kids will react just like adults do—if you care about something, you’re going to react passionately about it. If you don’t care, are you going to react at all? Probably not! Your child’s tantrum shows that he or she cares about something, whether it’s something as seemingly petty as not getting a new toy, to being left out of a game with siblings. You should be thankful that your child is engaged with the world around them. They’re listening to what’s going on and reacting to it, even if that reaction has to come out as a tantrum.