Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tantrum Talk

Since the start of school for our 1st grader, it has been a struggle to get her up from bed and get ready for school. On some days, she just refused to go to school saying she's tired already. I asked some mom friends what to do and mostly said to give it time. The little girl is going through an adjustment period. 
Actually, seeing Sophie now in the morning makes me realize 'that's how I was until high school!' I was never a morning person so waking up at crack of dawn was such a big effort. I even slept while taking a bath so from then on my mom would monitor my activity in the bathroom from outside the door. It's totally irritating but it got me to school on time (on some days, that is). I think my mom was secretly reminiscing our school days when she saw Sophie prep for school last week. Oh mama, I didn't realize it could be this hard. 
The worst part would have to be the tantrum thrown by my daughter last Friday. She wouldn't go inside the bathroom, she just don't want to go to school. She said school takes too long to finish and she's tired already and she doesn't feel well. As much as hubby won't hear any of her excuses, I just told him to let the little girl rest at home. You know hubby is willing to play the bad cop and I the good cop (I'll share that in another post). 
Yesterday, I googled ' school kids tantrums' and I got this article from among others. I want to better understand why my little girl who never cried during her first time in preschool now throws a tantrum in grade school.

Why do tantrums happen?
Tantrums usually occur when your child is frustrated, stressed or tired, and with limited means to communicate how he's feeling, he vents all his strong emotions in one long tirade that is a tantrum.
As your child matures, he will develop better ways of communicating how he feels - mainly through language - and so tantrums naturally tend to decrease with age. - not in our case it seems. 
If, however, your child is still tearing into a tantrum on a regular basis, you should consider whether he has developed the right vocabulary to express how he's feeling.
  • Ensure that she understands that she can talk to you about how she feels. Perhaps ask her questions that may open the door to this type of self-expression.
    The kids and I have a very open communication. They can talk to me about anything. It helps for parents to go down to the children's eye level for better communication especially if it's a serious matter or to discipline. 

  • Don't reward his behaviour. Your pre-schooler may view throwing a tantrum as a tool to getting what he wants, so be sure that you don't give in to his demands while he's displaying out of control behaviour. - 
          Uh oh, for the past days, I personally accompanied by daughter to school, as per tantrum request. She wouldn't go to school without Mommy. I actually scheduled a talk with her class adviser to discuss my daughter's behavior concerns. Too much too soon, you think? I think I actually gave in... :(

  • She may be using tantrums as a way of getting your attention. If you suspect this to be true, you're best off ignoring the tantrum while it goes on. Stay close by and keep an eye on her to make sure she won't hurt herself, but try not to respond to the tantrum itself. Once it's over, engage with her normally again.
         To see a child having a tantrum, giving in is the easier way out or a faster scheme to get the house to quiet down but, truth is, it's a route to worst scenes from your child. Key word: ignore.

  • Try putting a reward system in place that may encourage calm and appropriate behaviour in situations that would ordinarily result in a tantrum.
           Let's see if this works. Do you all agree in reward system? I have doubts and worry about the long term effect. 

  • Often kids react strongly to situations that they don't feel prepared for, so give timed warnings when you are about to do something that might result in a tantrum - 'In five minutes I want you to turn off the TV' - and make sure that he's not only looking at you but he's listening as well!


School-aged kids tend to take themselves very seriously and while there are those parents who find tantrums very upsetting, there are others who find them funny - here's this little person flinging himself around in a blind fury. Don't laugh at him or even look vaguely amused because he'll find it even more upsetting that you're not taking him seriously. 

Do you have the same problem with your school kid? Care to share your story and tips?


xoxoMrsMartinez | said...

Buti nalang malayo pa ako sa ganyang stage lol


Janaki Garcia said...

oo nga so cherish the moments na baby pa little girl mo. cute stage pa hehe :)

ZaiZai said...

Namana ata ng daughter mo ang pagiging not a morning person :)

Hopefully she grows out of it sooner than you did, or else baka hangang high school ganyan sya :)

Janaki Garcia said...

@Zai- I know. I think ang tawag dyan ay karma hehe :)

Swathi Iyer said...

Janaki, this episode is happening every morning in my house too. My 4 year old is so tired she didn't want to go to school. She is tantrum queen. I will try to ignore most of the time. that works to an extent.

Janaki Garcia said...

Thanks Swathi, it helps to know this is a natural phenomenon in school kids. I hope the kids settle soon. Lately, we are having quieter and more cooperative mornings. I hope you do too :)

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