We’re in the thick of it over here and I’ll be honest I’m mentally exhausted. I’m rolling my eyes and sighing like I’ve never rolled my eyes or sighed before.

Oscar has seemingly lost all control over his emotions. He does not know how to handle the smallest of frustrations and at his age I’m struggling to communicate with him well enough to help. We’re trying, oh we’reΒ trying.

To be perfectly honest, I was completely unprepared for this stage. I thought we still had time to read up and get our head around the best way to gently parent a toddler. I feel really strongly about steering clear of any discipline methods that revolve around anger, isolation, or shaming. I want to be able to talk to him and I want him to be able to want to talk to me.

I’m not completely naive, I know it’s never going to be that simple and perfect. I know there will need to be a whole lot of patience in our home. I know there will probably be a lot of mockery from friends, family, strangers that will just say, “Just put him in his room and shut the door”, or “A smack on the bottom will sort him out”. But we’re the parents and we get to decide what happens, full stop. I actually don’t think there is any easy way out. Regardless of what parenting technique you choose, there will still be meltdowns and tantrums because it’s NORMAL. I’m learning from Oscar just how complex his world can be and all I want to do is help him through it.

I read something the other day and it has stuck with me. When I’m starting to get frustrated I repeat these words in my head.

When your child is having a meltdown, remember, it’s their crisis, not yours. Breathe deeply. Calm yourself. Then use a quiet voice and gentle hands to guide your little one through their crisis. That is living what you want them to learn.

My parenting toolbox feels pretty empty right now but I’m trying to do the best with what I know. We don’t just say, “No.”, we always offer an explanation as to why he can’t do something. I’ve been trying to talk my way through all my actions lately anyway, just to help him with his communication. There are also a few phrases that we seem to be saying a lot over the last week. One of them is, “Oscar, are you okay? Would you like a cuddle?”. This one always comes up when he does his major, drop to the floor, my world is ending tantrum. For the record, he hardly ever does want a cuddle but a few times he has. It’s difficult because he can’t talk enough yet to really be able to respond to me so that’s where the hug comes in. At the moment we are trying to teach him to say “Help me”. He really needs to learn this phrase! For our sake and his own. At the moment, when he can’t get down from his chair or his toy gets stuck, he does that painfully irritating whine/fake cry that makes me want to rip my ears off. Whenever he does it, we walk up to him and say “Oscar, you need to say ‘Help me, please, help me’ okay?” This morning it happened and he did the awful whingy cry but as I walked closer to him he stopped and started saying “Meep mee, meep mee” in a cute little voice which i think was him trying to say help me. All these things will happen slowly and I really think our patience will pay off.

I have loads more to say on this topic but I’m going to be late for work if I don’t stop here. I have a list of books that I want to read but until then we’ll keep chugging along as we have been for the last week. When I dropped Oscar’s off at daycare I saw 2 of his classmates performing the exact same meltdown routine that he does. I lightheartedly commented to the carer that I was glad it wasn’t just Oscar that did that. She laughed and said “Oh, don’t worry. Every single one of them do it, it’s just that age.” It really did put my mind at ease. It’s totally normal and I need to remember that.

7 thoughts on “Tantrums

  1. Tantrums are so hard here right now too. From what you’ve described you might find (our already have found) help from Janet Lansbury. Her philosophy and gentle parenting techniques/approaches have been very helpful for my own mindset in the troublesome tantrum phase. Solidarity, this will pass!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes to Janet! For us we just try to remember why they are happening-hes trying to learn something, he can’t fully communicate what he needs, ect. Normally just those reminders, the pause from us to figure out what is up, helps us approach him much more calmly. I also just got the books the whole brained child and no drama discipline. It sounds like you’d be into them but I’m only 9 pages in. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! I actually wrote down both those books you mentioned when I read your recent post and they sound like they could both be quite helpful. Another one I’m keen to look at is The Danish Way. It doesn’t seem specific to discipline but just more around play based learning and gentle parenting. Up until now I’ve pretty much just followed my instincts but recently I have started to doubt if what I’m doing to right or not. Especially when so many things I read are contradicting each other. One thing suggests I’m not being open enough to his feelings, another says I’m smothering him and need to let him be angry and wait for him to come to me. Ugh, head fuck. However, all the articles and posts from The Danish Way blog sit so well with me and fit perfectly into my ideals. Maybe I just need to take a step back and get back in tune with what feels right again. Anyway, this turned into a much longer reply than I intended! Thanks for your advice. πŸ™‚


  2. Although T is a lot younger, T is starting to throw his weight around (literally) and kick off whenever we have to ask for something that he can’t have (our keys, for example). Because he is that bit younger, it’s so hard to explain why he can’t have our sharp, pointy keys.

    I’m sure we’ll get there, but I look forward to reading how you guys approach things.



  3. It’s completely normal! Evelyn has outgrown her tantrums, so we’re living proof that parents and little ones can get through this onto the other side, and you will too!

    Janet Lansbury was a godsend for me during this phase of parenting, so I echo the commenters above. ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fact that it’s totally normal is actually a new realisation for me! I used to think that there were some children out there that were raised so perfectly that tantrums simply didn’t happen. Obviously I never saw what toddler crazyness that probably went on behind closed doors. When I did observe a kid having a complete meltdown, I would look and think “Wow, no way am I raising a kid like that. They probably parent that kid completely different to how I want to.” Oh how obnoxiously naive of me! It’s simply a form of learning and I finally get that now. Karma got me good! Haha


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