Tantrums, another way to communicate, indeed.  Children may want a toy, food item, nap, hug, etc. and start screaming, throwing a fit, hitting, and many other “misbehaviors.” Meanwhile, we may think, “When I was a kid…  I can’t take it anymore!  I don’t know what else to do with my child!”  So why don’t they calmly tell us their wants and needs?  The path of least resistence in expressing themselves many a time takes the form of a tantrum that we unknowingly reinforce.  What??

Let’s back up a second.  We can first establish that having needs and wants is normal. Children will continue to have moments of discontent.  So far, a child that tantrums is also normal.  Innocent until proven guilty.  Stay with me.  They don’t always know how to get their needs met.  How do they know what they need?  Good question.  They don’t.  Children have wants, which often coincide with their needs.  Their ability to separate the two is irrelevant. What matters is that they are allowed to have a voice as developping confident little people. Does that mean we let them scream and get away with murder? Absolutely not!  As much as we would like to think they are little extensions of us however, children are their own growing personalities.  It is up to us to figure out and distinguish between their wants and needs.  That is hard to do and a whole other subject which we can discuss at a later time.  Bottomline, tantruming is a tool for kids to get a need met.  Meeting our needs is part of survival and healthy in theory.  Does the end justify the means, not exactly.  This merely helps us understand the purpose of the tantrum.

Ok, now that we know tantrums have a reason for being, are we satisfied?  Not likely.  We realize we still dislike tantrums and very much.  Well, at least we know it’s not personal, which can help us breathe deeply, relax, and think clearly before taking our next step towards ensuring our children’s needs are met while keeping our sanity.  We can show them socially acceptable ways of communicating and obtaining what they need/want.

Yes, we give them food, shelter, and show them plenty of TLC.  Shouldn’t that be enough?  I wish.