10 reasons to LOVE it when your child throws a fit.

We hold on to our beautiful, little babies and they grow rapidly into beautiful little children that will one day throw a fit. How does this happen? I am not so sure that we can discover all the why’s of human behavior, but I do think we can look for mindful ways of responding.

10 reasons to be happy when our children are not:

1. Our children are not timidly depressed or trained like an animal to behave a certain way even though it goes against what they are feeling. They are holding nothing back and keeping nothing in. I wish I still had those instincts.

2. A good cry will send them into a good sleep. This always works for me. Good sleep is important for good health.

3. Crying, screaming fits of rage indicate that our children have feelings and that they do not suffer from some sort of sociopathic personality disorder.

4. Extreme displays of emotion normally only happen when we feel comfortable. When my child is turning blue in the face, I just think..wow, they must feel really safe with me.

5. Our children are making energetic attempts to communicate their needs with us. Though their methods may be somewhat misguided and ineffective they WILL learn better ways of communicating.

6. I like to think of these times as an amazing opportunity to display control of ones own emotions. Although I am feeling angry myself with hints of guilt and self-doubt, I can still be in control.

7. This is also a great time to truly demonstrate to your child how much you care and love them unconditionally. Your calm and loving response to their “inappropriate behavior” will send lasting messages of love and acceptance.

8. Frustration in a child is a sign that they have, or are, separating from you and are becoming independent beings. This is healthy and a goal for all humans.

9. This is a great time for intimacy with our children, if we are willing to listen rather than talk and help rather than punish we can develop an even closer bond with them.

10. These times can highlight the good times. Without darkness, there is no light. So just smile (but only slightly) and nod and say I love you with your eyes. The rest will come to you.

Maybe this will teach our children not to be afraid when mommy throws a fit. Rather, maybe they will be supportive and understanding when mommy loses it. haha.



12 responses »

  1. Thanks for this, Nadine. I’m a mother of an almost-three-year-old and it’s wonderful to hear from other folks discovering how to be conscious, present parents…and who kind of appreciate and identify with a good toddler freak-out. I’m exploring alternative education options, home schooling, unschooling or some mix that works for us and love when parents talk about their experiences openly. How else are we supposed to learn and figure it out if we don’t talk about it with other parents? Thanks again.

  2. Hi Nadine, thanks for this post. I have been trying to home educate my 7 year old (and 4 year old) for the last 4 months since we pulled him out of school. I would love to unschool him but I’m afraid the environment we live in isn’t rich enough – totally lacking museums, interesting history etc… At the moment, we aren’t doing much in the way of formal learning at all, or so it feels. We seem to spend a lot of the day just drifting about, getting breakfast ready, getting lunch ready, deciding what to do and then suddenly it’s the afternoon which means playtime to my son. I am a bit anxious! When I read about unschooling the kids are into all sorts of interesting projects, the Mums are doing kitchen-table science with them, the kids are reading at a fantastic level. I am wondering whether unschooling means delayed formal learning in that it’s only when kids get older that they can/will want to learn about the solar system, volcanoes, read/listen to ‘Little House on the Prairie’, be interested in Romans or something. I want my kids to be good, happy human beings which unschooling is the best at but I also want them to have options in life, which might include a more academic path like a good University. But I think that option would be open to my kids if I unschool them now, with all the more formal academic stuff coming when they’re kind of 15 years old or something if they look like they might want to go the academia path. Am I right in thinking this?? Unschooling is very, very relaxed when they are young and then when they are older they naturally choose to read books, do projects, try science experiments. What sorts of things are your kids learning so easily, other than to be great human beings, which is what they have a chance to do with unschooling? Thanks, Nadine!!

    • My kids are learning how to get along, communicate. My oldest son can read and quite well, he is eleven. He enjoys reading as it was never stressful or forced on him. My other children (ages 5,3 and 2) love to be read to and the two middle children can write a few
      Words. They learned that on their own and I am not even sure how!
      We live in a small town void of museums and such. We are becoming
      Increasingly more involved in community and helping our neighbors, there’s a lot of elderly people who need assistance and company.
      Basically, I trust. I trust my kids
      To learn what they need to. And I they ever want to do post secondary, they have an advantage. There’s no record that could haunt them. They have the opportunity to show a university or college what they can do now. They recognize alternative forms of education and offer testing or project style entries to be accepted. It’s
      Also possible for your children to take an eight week course(or so) to cover everything taught in school in those 13 years. And if it’s what they chose and want to do, it will be easy. Learning can be easy and joyful with hard work. Your kids are still young. Kids in Finland don’t even go to school until they are 7 yrs old. Most unschoolers and kids from child-directed learning learn to read and write later. But sooner is not better, actually it could be damaging. Check out Dalvid Elkinds information. He has a couple
      Books one called
      “the power of play”
      Good luck! You can do it! I bet you ARE doing it. Trust.

      • Thanks SO much for this, Nadine. I have read, in terms of modern gurus, Carlos Ricci and I’m starting a John Holt book now but have seen a lot of quotes by him and they both do talk a lot about trusting children to learn whatever they need to learn. Boy is that a mind shift! However, I agree, that when I look at my nearly 4 year old, who’s never been near a school, and see her starting to read and wanting to do a Maths workbook (which is just lying around) and see all the other things she can do which is so much from being read to – story after story until I feel like I’m going to drop! Then, yes, I should trust that my 7 year old will get a natural curiosity for learning back again after 4 miserable years in school. I WANT to believe in unschooling. I want to do it, but it’s hard when there’s no-one around you doing anything remotely similar. Hopefully, they are there, I just haven’t found them yet 😉 I’ll check out David Elkinds now! Best wishes, Penny

      • Yes, it is a while other way of thinking to trust in this life. You start to lose the separation between learning and life as it all meshes together. And this type of natural learning is so valuable! My kids are learning to cook for themselves, healthy and delicious meals. Real
        Life skills! We are more and more starting to include them in our finances. I am letting go more and more everyday and am happier for it!
        There is no one here who unschools. A few homeschoolers, but I know I am supported and that we will have other unschooler friends in the future.
        David Elkind also wrote “The Hurried Child”. I think I posted him name incorrectly the first time. It is David Elkinds.

  3. I believe that our children are our mirrors. When my child is raging I must ask myself “What anger am I holding? What frustration is emanating from me? What negativity is my child experiencing in his/her bond with me?” It is not that I take on blame for my child’s emotion; rather I accept that we are all connected and that when I heal myself, my child has a better chance of healing also.

    Great post, Nadine. Keep it up!

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