How to effectively deal with the tantrum of a child, translated…
The incident happened on the last day of Mimi Chou’s first semester of her first grade year.
The night before, the cat peed on the bed, it was, already very late, we couldn’t, wipe the urine off completely, and, we can’t, take it outside to get dried yet either, and, we can only, try not, to sleep where there’s pee. The next morning, as Mimi Chou lay there and changed into her clothes, she’d, kicked her sweater to the place where the cat peed, and, the pee got onto her sweater; and so, she’d gotten, furious, “Mom, you’d, handed me a sweater with pee on it again! Plus, that’s not the one I wanted to wear today!”
I’d told her, we’d discussed so many times already, I’d asked her to set out her clothes for the next day the night before, but she just, never did, manage it; and we’d made an agreement, that if she’d not done it, and someone had, completed the tasks for her, she shouldn’t, have ANY complaints. Besides, I’d placed her clothes where there wasn’t pee, she’s the one, who’d, kicked it there, that, was how the smell got on, and, before we’d found the time on the weekends, to bring the mattress out to get dried, we can only, be extra careful then.
“Shut up!”, Mimi Chou glared at me.
And so, I’d, kept my lips shut all the way to the school, she’d slowly, patted her sleeves, touched all over her clothes, and, refused, to get off. I’d started, “Do get off now, or, you’re going to have to walk ALL the way to work from my office (about five minutes away).”, she’d continued stalling, I’d, let go of the handbrake, pressed down hard on the gas pedal, she’d hollered, “Stop the car right now!”, I’d remained silent, but still kept on driving.
As I arrived at the office, I’d parked, and, I’d, clocked in to work, went upstairs, my coworkers were already there, she’d not dared, throw her tantrums like she’d done at home, only kept hollering, “You need to take me to school, I’m not walking all that WAY!”, and, as I arrived at the office, the phones started ringing for me, and, it’d seemed to her, that I’d, made up my mind, not taking her to school again, busying myself about.
After I’d finished busying around the office, it was past 8:30, she’d become, softened down, said, “Mom, please, do give me one more chance, I shouldn’t have, gotten angry at you.”
And, on the way to school, I’d received a call from her panicky teacher telling me, “Mimi hadn’t arrived yet”, I’d told the teacher, because she got some cat pee on her clothes, she’d gotten mad, that, was why, she’s, late to school.
But I knew well, that this, wasn’t the reason at all. On the way back to the office, I’d started, feeling awe, at my way of handling her temper tantrums in the morning.
But, was I, really too rash on her? Not really. The distance of the gray area between “Child, you can’t take what everybody’s doing for you for granted.” and “Moms need to empathize with the children”, and at that precise moment, there would be a mixture of calm/breakdown/senses/suppressions/explosions/wanting to reason/I don’t care if I have to, blow up the house/I want to reason with you/I no longer care/I don’t want to become too stubborn in thought.
There’s this entanglement in the moment of every single conflict, and, only through constantly reminding ourselves: we need to discuss the matter with the children, to give each other the space, to teach the children that everybody has her/his own emotions, but, also one’s own responsibilities.
So, this mother had, set her foot down, because her child was acting up, and, because the mother stayed strict to her ways, that, was what made the child realized that she shouldn’t have, thrown her temper tantrum, and it was her, who’d, left her shirt on that spot where the cat peed………