I have a three-year-old. A three-year-old middle child. He is doing some very typical three-year-old-middle-child things. And I have found myself responding in ways I just don't want to. Distracted. Impatient. Angry. Not amongst my favourite parenting attributes.
At the end of a half-hour three-year-old-middle-child tantrum yesterday morning, whereby the entire street heard his heartfelt desire to put on mah flashy shoes I exhaled deeply and thought for a moment. In emotional terms, a tantrum is exhausting, draining. In logical terms, the tantrum can be an opportunity to teach my child and build on our relationship.
None of this is easy, or natural. After years of teaching young children, and now working in the home raising my own, I have decided I have far more patience for others' children. Probably because I have a lot more invested in my own children. Sometimes a tantrum is a great opportunity to develop, sometimes it really is the wrong time or place for anything other than getting to the other side whichever way you can. But before I take it as a personal assault, I'll look logically at the next tantrum, and if I can see the opportunity to show my boy that he is kind, he is loved, and he can behave in an appropriate way, I'll take it.