Preschool Pointers – 36: Love the Tantrum

I’m in a complicated phase with one of my little girls. She is dying for approval, and goes about getting it by acting out. Which means I can’t give it to her. Which spirals her out of control, because she just wants me to love her GAWD. It’s a horrid cycle and I’m looking for ways to break it. In that vein…

Problem:

Your child is a perfectionist. Not only that but she wants to hear about how awesome she is all the time. If you don’t tell her, she assumes she’s crap at everything, no good, and no one loves her. She holds herself up to insurmountable standards, and when she fails herself, she feels that pain so deeply, her emotions overwhelm her and she tantrums, yells, cries, screams or even physically lashes out. This can be over anything from coloring outside the lines, to wearing her shoes on the wrong feet to any other tiny little thing you can think of. Then she sees herself tantruming and tantrums again because she’s tantruming. She’s that disappointed in herself. Then her whole day is ruined because she refuses to give herself a break. One of these in the morning, and she’s done for the day because “she hasn’t been good the whole day.” Her whole life depends on this strange definition of continual goodness that will or will not win your approval. And you swear to God, you didn’t do this to her. You do everything you can to instill in her that she is good, behavior notwithstanding, and that you love her no matter what.

Solution:

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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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