Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A bloody big wobbly!

A few days ago my three year old decided to have a tantrum over a very large freddo frog, or to be more accurate a tantrum over not being allowed to have the very large freddo frog! The tantrum lasted most of the way around the supermarket and back to the car, it continued while I strapped her into her seat and while I started the car. Once the car was going the yelling became instructions for me to not drive away and to go back, they then became instructions for me to stop the car and then it became incomprehensible yelling again. As I was about to pull into our drive way (only about 3 minutes drive but with tantrum still in full swing!) Little Cricket yelled at me very clearly to " STOP THE BLOODY CAR!" It was hilarious and I couldn't help but giggle at her which didn't help at all. Once out of the car and inside we sat down together got Cricket to calm down and we had a talk about how chocolate everyday is not good for us and that huge freddo frogs would make her feel sick, I don't really think she believes any of that but she was OK and went off to play!
It was at this point that I started to feel bad, there are several points in this scenario that I felt awful about. Firstly my children seem to think that every time we go near a shop they are entitled to an edible treat! This worries me in several ways, I am concerned about the consumption of such nutritionally devoid food items and also their seeming inability to understand that they are not always so well behaved to deserve a treat!!!
I wasn't really all that happy that I hadn't dealt with the tantrum in a more timely manner and that I let it go on for sometime, in my defence I had my five year old with me too and we had just been swimming and I just wanted to go home! I need better strategies to deal with tantrums in public I think.
The use of the word "bloody" from a three year old would probably upset a few people too but this doesn't really bother me, it is only a word after all and Cricket has heard me use it many times so I can't really expect her to know that she shouldn't, perhaps I just need to advise her to not say it in front of her grandmothers!
The thing that really got me though was that I had laughed at her, during her distress her own mother had laughed at her and I have no doubt that this hurt her feelings ( my girls like to say "that hurt my heart").  For an adult a freddo frog is no big deal and in the heat of the tantrum moment we can not see any different. But to a three year old it is important and a big part of life for her.  This is where I feel I let her down, by laughing at her I have failed to validate that her feelings of distress and unfairness are justified and important TO HER. By laughing at her she would have felt that I didn't understand or that I just thought she was silly. So I have to try to really work on this, I need to realise that world peace, street violence, financial crisis and other disasters are not important to a three year old, and nor should they be, but a freddo frog? Well that can make or break her week!

1 comment:

Rhianna said...

You pose some interesting ideas. It is hard at times to make the link between our world and that of a 3yr old, or 5yr or 9 yr old or just any child at all. I totally get both you laughing and the associated guilt. However don't beat yourself up about it too much. Sometimes a giggle can be the best thing to do as it can show the child they are over reacting, though I am thinking that would not have been the case here.
Good luck with the continuation of saying no, at that age it won't take long till they get it you just need to stay strong

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