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Tantrums worldwide? - Page 5

post #81 of 86
Originally Posted by mmaramba
Tantrums start out because the child is frustrated, etc. and can't express himself.
I think this is a common misconception about tantrums.

Both my children spoke in sentences at age 12 months. Dd#1 just about never tantrumed. Dd#2 tantrums many times some days. Yet by the age of 2 she had the language of many 4 or 5 year olds. She can express herself remarkably well, even in the midst of a tantrum. :LOL

I think there is a misconception also about tantrums being when a child is opposed by an adult. Again, ime this is not true. Dd#2 can tantrum when there is nobody else in the room. She can tantrum at the very thought of something that bugs her. And it can be something that didnt bother her in the slightest the day before.

I think we can be too quick to explain things as being results of our parenting - it is a fairly common theme, for example, on mdc, to read a mother's exasperated plea about 'what went wrong' when she did 'everything right' in AP terms. Or another mdc mother patting herself on the back for her child never tantruming, or being superconfident and polite, or (fill in the gap) because she did all the AP stuff 'right'. Or, alternatively, the tale of a terrible child at the playground doing stuff 'wrong' because his mother was 'so mainstream'.

I used to partly buy into this stuff. Three kids later, I know that it is not that simple. There is this little X factor, called personality. I can give guidance, and I can help them to learn to manage their frustrations and emotions, but I cannot change the three little personalities in my house.
post #82 of 86
Thanks, Britishmum for your point. Well put.
post #83 of 86
You HAVE to read the book Mating by Norman Rush. It is a novel about a utopian society set up in which women are in charge. It is my favorite book of all time. Look me up if you read it (or anyone else too!), I've never known anyone who read it to discuss it with...
post #84 of 86
Originally Posted by Dal
I guess I'm not fully seeing what is problematic about discussing what might work in other places to keep tantrums to a minimum.
when u try to do that u kinda search for answers that fit ur question. it is v. hard to look at the whole picture and deduce from them.

for instance say u note that children in a particular culture (this is purely hypothetical) hold their babies a lot so u assume if u too sling ur baby u shouldnt see so many tantrums. u see all those moms working in the fields with silent babies so the sling should be it. well that is part of the reason. but other factors are there too. the child is growing up in a rich environment with extended family. when the mom gets home different hands take teh baby. they may not constantly entertian the baby but the baby is part of their daily life playing by himself and enjoying the adult humdrum of activity around. money is short but the parents philosophy is have to do with what i have. u become religioius. u accept things. yes my child is dying due to lack of treatment but i have to accept this as the higher powers wish. i have to stay calm and not get hysterical because i have the whole family to take care of. so even though the circumstances are stressful the parents can keep the stress away. you are not constantly in a rush to do things, to make things happen. u r not on a schedule running from pillar to post.

so it is better to look at the facets of a culture - of any tribe and see what is their philosophy. u look at their parenting as a whole instead of a few features. then u see how their children turn out. instead of the other way around. why do they do carry their baby so much. they may themselves not have a direct answer (theyve never had to think of it) but they would guess because then the baby doesnt cry that much.

the things i feel that are wrong in this country - which is what creates a problem - are not deliberate but that's just how life turned out. for instance many children dont like schedules. they dont like going to bed at 9. they prefer when they are tired. but they have to go to daycare the next morning so they have to go to sleep by 9.

now if the govt. gave tax breaks and incentives to parents so that it is easy for one of them to stay home (if that is their choice) then we would probably see better parenting. i mean 6 - 8 weeks maternity leave as opposed to canada's yearly parental leave is just ridiculous. so really slinging maynot be the answer. easing tension - making places child friendly - like some grocery stores having supervised child care areas - will make this country a better place to raise children. instead of just focusing on childbirth classes there should be more focus on parenting classes so that a parent understands appropriate age behaviour adn learns why tantrums happen so they can think of GD themselves. wish there was an adopt a grandparent program where a family can 'adopt' an elderly person (of course it kinda has to be like a dating service matching program) as i find is so important for children to have exposure to various age groups. plus u r meeting the needs of lonely people too. if we can do something on these lines and pay more attention to our children (and i dont mean MDC but esp. the mainstream out there - many of whom just dont know and have no guidance of how to be parents) then we may not see so much of violence we see in young juveniles today.

the other day some friends accompanied us to teh park. i was exhausted at teh end of my work day. if i was there with my dd just by myself i would have played a little bit with her but then sat down and let her play by herself. instead these adult friends just played like little kids with my dd, doing funny things, creating new games, chasing, climbing nonclimable areas. it was awesome. when they were ready to call it a day my dd did not fight going home. she had been physically and mentally challenged. so she took a bath and went to sleep. if it had been just her and me i would have had a hard time putting her to bed. now i could have done the same things as my friends but i was exhausted. i could not come up with more ideas at teh end of the day. but they brought in their unique perspective, thier energy and freshness which my dd enjoyed. so instead of throwing a tantrum at teh mention of pjs she willingly did the whole routine and went to bed.

hope this makes sense.
post #85 of 86
Britishmum-- Very insightful. I am still new to all this, so now that I think about it, maybe, instead of saying: "Tantrums start out because the child is frustrated, etc. and can't express himself," I should qualify that and say that that is *sometimes* why tantrums start.

I guess it seems that tantrums are a result of frustration, to some great degree. But... Now I don't know.

I think back to when I was a kid... A very sensitive child... Now, I didn't tend to tantrum when I couldn't get ice cream, or some such, but I was a perfectionist and got very tantrumy when I didn't get things "right." (Obviously there were other things going on there, but I'll focus on the tantrums themselves right now).

I was also a highly-verbal kid, reading at age 3 1/2, started Kindergarten at 4, etc.

I think that any "fits" I had (and I should say that they were mostly self-flagellating, not yelling at my parents, or anything) were *definitely* the result of frustration (and obviously, lack of acceptance of "failure," too-high expectations, etc).

I think they also had something to do with my not being able to express myself or get out of the tunnel-vision of perfectionism.

I think it *did* have something to do with not being able to express myself, actually. Not in the way or on the level that I *wanted* to express myself, anyway.

Look, I was reading H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" when I was an 8-year-old fourth-grader. But I *still* didn't have the words-- or more accurately, the ability-- to express my frustration in *any* way, really... "productive" or "unproductive"... I knew it was "irrational," I guess, but it had a substance to it... just couldn't get a handle on that substance-- couldn't quite express it-- without crying and screaming sometimes.

And then, screaming and crying was expressing *something* but never really resolving anything. Not that tantrums can't be cathartic, but when they *keep* happening, and don't make you feel better, and... just result in more tantrums, then maybe there *is* something deeper there. (Like there was for me-- the too-high expectations thing was never fundamentally addressed).

Not accusing anyone here of anything, but just thinking... Maybe tantrums are like anything else: developmental, not inherently "bad" or "good." BUT, SOMETIMES, if they are like those I described above, they can be problematic. They might really be "bad," or something to be addressed, if they have certain features or progress along certain lines.

Like depression. Nothing wrong with having bad moods, or occasionally suffering one or more of the symptoms. But when it's a pervasive pattern of 5+ symptoms that interfere with your daily life, last for at least 6 weeks, yadda yadda, then there IS a problem. YKWIM? I mean, I'm sure that's obvious, and I'm just sounding pedantic now.

I still am not 100% Zen about my perfectionist issues, but I didn't even *really* start addressing my extreme frustration/"fits" until I was in therapy at age 16 or so. Not that this applies to every "tantrum" situation, and I agree with a PP that said no human ever really stops tantruming, but...

Don't know.

Still mulling this over...
post #86 of 86
i think that kids tantrum for different reasons. every kid is different. some will get frustrated bc they can't communicate, some will get frustrated bc of perfectionism, some will tantrum when they're hungry, some when they're tired, some just "because"...every single child in the universe is unique and i don't think that we can really ever 100% accurately generalize about something as complex as the human mind and its manifestations (as behaviors).

that being said, i think that there are also differences in the way that parents respond to these tantrums. for some, it's a big deal, it's embarrassing, it tells them that they're "failling", etc...for others (like my family in south america that i mentioned before), it says absolutely nothing about themselves and is just a part of life that is nurtured as much as any other aspect. i think that the way we as parents react to tantrums can have an impact on how much they occur in the future or how far they escalate in the moment. again, no one way is the "right" way...some kids need to be held, some kids need their own space. so to say that there is ONE right way to handle a tantrum is just as ridiculous as saying that there is ONE reason that tantrums occur.

i guess that's another reason why it's dangerous to talk about cultural differences in these general ways...it boils down to individual differences most of the time, and of course those individual differences are influenced by cultural norms/expectations/socialization...but if you drop me in a foreign culture...the "noble savage" home...i'm still gonna get frustrated when i get frustrated here...and i'm still gonna have the same hangups that i do here...i'll have different resources, but it won't change who i *am*.

i think it's useful for us as parents to find other strategies and try to incorporate them in our lives...but it is also very important to remember that we are all beautifully unique. and what works brilliantly for some families is a disaster for another. it makes the most sense to take our cues from what *our* children need, not what OTHER children and families need in "other cultures". it's great for me to use babyslinging (which i learned from south america), but it's inaccurate to assume that it will solve my problems as a parent. it's another tool to try with my son and future children...but *they* will show me if it's a useful one for our family. some kids hate slings. it happens.

so....that's what i've been thinking.
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