How I Dealt With My Little Nephew’s Temper Tantrums

My little nephew in his Spiderman outfit, the morning after his father bought it for him when he insisted on wearing it to school, and he did.

He was about 15 months old when the crying, wailing, and his temper-tantrum stage started. I know because I posted about it on Facebook!

A number of my Facebook friends commented saying basically that this is part of growing up. So, towards the end responding to some of the comments, I sarcastically commented, “So, Mr. Hyde has not just come of hiding but is here to stay! What fun!”

In spite of it being a common part of growing up, I didn’t want him to continue with that at all. So, I was in search of a solution. While still over 35% of Nepali adults believe that corporal punishment is necessary in rearing and educating children, I don’t. I needed another solution.

Luckily, I discovered one, which I didn’t share on Facebook. I can’t remember how it was that I happened upon it nor how I came to decide on it. But the solution rests on the fact that babies and toddlers have very very short attention span. It’s possible that episodes of the US television show Kids Say The Darndest Things, hosted by Bill Cosby, may have had something to do with it. I do remember watching some of those episodes and noticing indeed how short their attention spans were.

Anyway, what I did whenever my baby nephew would give into his temper and threw fits etc. was to just talk to him. Sometimes, I would point out something in the sky (like a bird) and describe what it was doing and tell him to check it out. Other times, I would play a music on my smart phone and talk about the music etc. Invariably, the new stimulus would draw his attention and he would refocus on it completely forgetting, pretty instantly, his unreasonable demand.

After he was able to speak, of course, I would continue to talk to him. I have raised him by modeling behavior, showing him respect, and engaging with him verbally, and explaining things to him. I have NOT used any violence nor even the threat of violence. Forget about me or any family member using it, I have forbade his teachers from using it for any reason. I have NOT had to raise my voice or threaten him with anything etc. to make him do or NOT do something.

I want him to grow up to be a compassionate human being, which is another reason I am raising him that way. Raise a boy using violence, he’ll likely grow up to be a violent adult.

He is seven now and hasn’t thrown a temper tantrum since early 2013. He doesn’t raise his voice, nor does he scream or shout or cry to get his way etc. Far from it. He is now into the habit of expressing himself verbally and negotiating etc. When we are out and about, for instance, and he wants something, like an ice-cream, he goes something along the lines of, “It’s been a long time since I have had ice-cream” instead of crying and screaming, “I want ice-cream!! I want ice-cream!!!” Or, he’ll say something along the lines of, “When was the last time you had Doritos uncle?” when HE wants a bag of Doritos!!

As a matter of fact, there have been times when, at social functions, seeing another toddler throwing a tantrum and not understanding why, he has asked, “Why is he doing that?”

Wouldn’t you want your child to behave that way? šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

What do you think?



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