Our middle child is particularly susceptible to tantrums, but only when she’s tired. So on nights like to last ht, when she stayed up late to watch fireworks, tantrums are pretty much guaranteed. And thus it was; lots of loose accusations about it “not being fair”, and we’re “horrible parents ” and we “never let me have sleepovers”.
To be honest, I was pleased that I managed to remain calm throughout this particular episode.
I guess it’s a mix of the emotional high of being with friends and watching fireworks, and the low of going home alone to bed. When you combine that with being tired, it’s quite a potent mix, and the whole thing becomes a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
I’m not sure how to smooth out those steep dips and awesome climbs once the ride starts. I think it’s just a case of staying calm in the face of the heartfelt outpourings and not react. After all, it wasn’t like she was refusing to go to bed, or clean her teeth, she was just crying and accusing us of being hideous while she was doing the normal things she would do while getting ready for bed. So I think I need to expect it and plan for it in future.
Indeed, I think I’ve entered a period of calm all round with the children. I do shout at them when they annoy me, and the causes of annoyance are many and varied. It can be not putting something away, or arguing with me when I tell them it’s tidying up time. I need to implement a trigger where I take a breath and don’t react at their level of ferocity / emotion. And I think I’ve got one that will work for a bit, at least. The answer is to say “I don’t want to shout at you, …”, and in that time I have averted my normal unthinking switch into shouty mode, and it ends up being a bit of a calmer discussion, at least from my side of the dialogue. We’ll see how it works out – it’s early days yet.

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