College parent: Handling temper trantrums

Michelle Verne

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Student-parents at CSUN,

Our day consists of endless ways of trying to figure out how to handle it all.  I find myself trying to find time to breathe and to keep from suffocating under pressure.  It’s hard, especially when the kids are in the background, going through it all with me.  One of my hardest challenges consists of dealing with temper tantrums and whining.  During one of these episodes, I have to take a 10 second breather or else I’ll explode.

I’ve always been given tips on how to handle these tantrums that children have.  Many told me, in the beginning you would have to try several modes of operation and sometimes nothing worked.  But, discussions with other parents have shown me that I’m lucky because the tantrums I’ve faced are minor and have actually only happened on a couple occasions with each of my three kids.

Of course, the most helpful tip came from my mother.  She said, “Just ignore it.”  Easy for her to say, I don’t recall her doing that with me or my brother when we were young.  I also have seen other parents trying to use this particular method and it never works for them.  But is that because of the parent or the child?  After observing this question, I found the parent normally gives in to their child within 30 to 90 seconds.  So when I had my first child, I ignored the first tantrum which lasted about five minutes.  It sounds easy, but listening to a screaming two-year-old for five minutes can be hard to bear.  But as time went on the tantrums got shorter, and then went away.

When facing this issue, trying this method may be helpful.  I will admit it takes patience and ear plugs.  But it has worked for me in the past.  If it doesn’t work, there are several online sites that can offer tips.  There are also books available with other suggestions.  Getting help for this problem before it gets worse can relieve the stress it involves for you and your child.

Michelle Verne
Staff reporter