The Master of Tantrums


Does anyone else have a master tantrum thrower? A child who has studied the art of the tantrum?

I do and his name is Isaac.


Isaac is performing quite a dynamic tantrum right now.


With dramatic pauses and everything!


Lots of crescendos using a piercing shriek, right down to a quiet pathetic little whimper.


Then comes the kicking the floor and groaning.


Add in some more screaming, writhing, and thrashing. Yes, he’s got this whole tantrum thing down to performance art.

I usually wait for the silence that comes with defeat. He’s not one to admit defeat easily so this could take a while. Strong-willed, this one, and dedicated to his art.  So until the calm down begins, I’m just rockin’ out to the dulcet tones of his glass shattering shrieks and am reflecting on the art of throwing a tantrum.

Tantrums are a part of life with little guys, as we all know.  I try to let them run their course as long as they’re at home, (though I usually insist they perform in their room, away from those who are acting civilized.) Might as well get all that negative energy out, so that when the alien in possession of my sweet child’s body realizes nothing good can come from this, my loveable offspring will be open to reason.  And I realize he’s gotta get all that emotion out somehow since he’s highly unlikely to articulate his feelings in an eloquent complaint.

Lately, the source of nearly every outburst is Isaac’s skewed definition of “mine.” According to the law of 3 year olds, it goes something like this:

“What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine, what I might play with in the future is mine, what I’ve played with at any point in the past is mine, whatever I’ve ever touched is also mine, as is anything I might ever touch someday.”

If you have young children, you know this definition well.

And I’ll admit, I’m impressed by the dedication end effort Isaac puts into his trantruming. I love that when he starts something, he does it to the very best of his ability. Of course, I wish he’d use this trait in a more constructive manner, but it’s nice to know he’s got determination and conviction, one day it will be very admirable. For now, I’ll just let his tantrum play out and hope that he chooses to put his energy into a new form of performance art…like sharing. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Do you have a champ tantrum-er?

How do you usually handle it?

3 thoughts on “The Master of Tantrums

  1. Ryan used to have a really hard time expressing himself. It’s like he couldn’t figure out how to get the anger and frustration out. The result was banging his head on the floor. Yes, scary (and a bit embarrassing explaining the bruise that would sometimes show up) but as we worked more with talking and sign language he thankfully moved away from that phase. I think about what causes me to burst into tears with anger/frustration and then imagine not being able to find any words to express it. I too would be finding any outlet I could to release it. By the time Issac is over the tantrums, J will be ready! 😉

  2. You are so right about the communication frustrations being a cause of tantrums. We have so many fewer tantrums now that Isaac’s vocabulary has grown. Now, the cause is usually the whole “mine” and “sharing” thing. I’m optimistic that J is going to just skip the whole tantrum stage…ok, maybe delusional is a better word.

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