Monday, April 15, 2013

Repost: Tantrums and backtalk: How much resistance do you allow your kids?

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

March 23, 2011

(Warning: foul language)

Lately, tantrums are a thing in my household.

I wasn't prepared.

When there's something my daughter doesn't want to do, or Mommy or Daddy takes something out of her hands, she stomps a couple of times and drops to the floor. I'm aware that this is a normal developmental stage, but it worries me nonetheless. I'm not exactly sure when and how a normal toddler turns into an enfant terrible, and I really don't want her to come close to crossing that line.

For now, we find that ignoring her is a surefire way to get the tantrum to end quickly. Still, we're carefully watching to make sure this stage doesn't become something more.

The video above is a good reason why (although this family clearly has two obnoxious teens, one of whom films family arguments). There's probably not a direct route from unruly bambino to insufferable adolescent, but just in case there is, I want to make sure we take the path less bratty. If I'd spoken to my parents that way -- or even so much as ever raised my voice at them -- I have reason to believe that it wouldn't have, um, gone well for me. Heck, if I spoke to them like that now, they'd be furious.

How have you found balance between allowing your child to express himself or herself and yet maintaining standards for appropriate behavior?

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