When my son was a toddler, he occasionally expressed his will in the form of tantrums. It wasn't until we had a life-changing encounter in a toy store that he was "cured." A little girl in the next aisle began throwing a tantrum. As we passed by, we saw her lying on the floor, wailing at the top of her voice, arms and legs beating the air.
I knelt down beside my son and quietly said to him, "Do you see that little girl having a tantrum? She's not getting her way, so she's acting like this to try to get her mother to let her have what she wants. This is what you look like when you throw a tantrum."
Although my son didn't say anything, I could tell that it had made a lasting impression. Some time later during a role-playing game (where I was an unruly student and he was the teacher), he reprimanded me by drawing a stick figure on the blackboard and said, "This is what you look like when you act like that!"
~ See more articles for parents of 0- to 3-year-olds. ~
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2011 by Carolyn Stonehocker. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.