Is There Really a Way to Stop an Eight Year Old from Tantrumming?

February 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
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This morning I headed off to the Chiropractor at 5:45 so I could be back home before getting the girls up. Of course my 16 year old was home in case of emergency.

We had breakfast, then out the door for the morning meeting of the two ski-training girls. After brought the 12 year old and the eight year old home. And I went to yoga- all this to try and heal my poor aching back-

And the last thin I said to the girls was, do your math and if you feel like killing each other eat something and go to different rooms.

Yoga-calming, difficult, strengthening and stretching. What I need for my body, and my soul.

And when I returned, the tantrum was happening. The eight year old was making a LOT of noise. The twelve year old was being coy and calm.

Of course I new exactly what had happened. The twelve year old had done something that made the eight-year feel overpowered. But beyond that there was the simple thing called hunger.

I call it the Hungry Horrors. And most kids get it. It that thing when your kids just have no reason, have no sense. And are completely horrible.

I had been telling my eight year old if she could not get a grip on her tantrums and eat when the feeling began she would have to go to Mommy jail.

Jail is for people who cannot be socially acceptable and do things that are harmful to the society they are in.

So to day was the day. I told her she was going to jail.
She stormed down the stairs, went into the half bathroom and slammed the door. Yelled about how much she hated her sister, me, and well a lot of other yelling that I didn’t really pay attention to.

I made a plate of appealing food (not special) and put on the sink counter and closed the door- Lots more noise. Then things got quieter. And after about thirty minutes she was in the bathroom, having found a string and playing and singing happily.

THEN we talked. We talked about you don’t feel hungry before a tantrum, but you are. We talked about feeling ashamed of shouting and being rude and unpleasant.

And all by herself she decided to ask her sister to come and visit her. I left and called the sister to come.

The apology was sweet and simple. “Sorry I had a tantrum. Guess I don’t really hate you.”
After one and half hours in the bathroom- remember she was playing and singing at this point, I changed the jail to her bedroom.

She has been there for two and half more hours- that’s a total of four and half hours.

Will she ever have a tantrum again? Of course. Will she be better able to deal with it? I expect so. Does she feel guilty fro her tantrum? Not a chance. She forgave herself, her sister, and everyone accepted her apology.

This is serious positive intervention after the event. She was not punished; her behaviors where diverted, strictly stopped and allowed to open in a new and positive direction.


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