My Three Year Old and Tantrums
Well, three years old is turning out to be all that it was hyped up to be. My three-year-old, nicknamed Hoolie, is creative, plays with friends and her sister, as well as independently, talks a ton, sings, yells at Alexa or the new google home mini, which she yells at, saying, “Alexa, Hey Google!”, aaaaand tantrumming.
Apparently, tantrumming isn’t a word, but it should be because it’s real. Upon looking it up, I found out that tantrum is a noun, but nonetheless, I’ll use it as a verb because it’s definitely a thing that a person can do! Hoolie’s favorite thing to tantrum over is definitely bedtime related. It’s usually some negotiation that didn’t turn out in her favor. I follow lots of the advice of Janet Lansbury, who is an expert in RIE parenting methods. Per her advice, one should set their child up for success by not letting them get overtired and by setting clear expectations and boundaries. Lansbury doesn’t believe in time outs or threats. She explains that tantrums are ok and that we need not try to stop the child from throwing a tantrum. In fact, the child themself does not want to throw a tantrum, but they’ve simply lost control. I believe that is true much of the time. We have had significant victories when assuring her needs are met and planning ahead to ensure she gets adequate sleep.
That being said, there are times Hoolie turns it on and off, and I question if I’m getting played by a three-year-old.
Last night, Hoolie was pulling all of her tricks out of the bag to delay bedtime. She suddenly was interested in eating her dinner, which was still on the table. She wanted to play in her room, have ice in her water, then not have the ice melt in her water (but of course!), and then for mommy to read her books (after her daddy already did), and then to find her owl nightlight. We determined that three of the six requests were reasonable, obliged, and plopped her in the crib.
When her mind is finally resting from a day full of negotiations, we feel relief. Relief that she’s asleep, and relief that for the day, there are no more negotiations.