Ask almost any parent what is their most difficult toddler/preschooler moment, and I believe they will agree it is a public temper tantrum.
Whether in the middle of a family reunion or in a crowd of strangers, when your child is the one screaming and thrashing, it is challenging to say the least.
But a few days ago on the national news, there for the world to observe, was England’s two-year-old Princess Charlotte having her own royal tantrum right there on the airport tarmac.
And as far as I could tell, a royal tantrum looks and sounds like any other tantrum.
But I thought – good for you Princess Charlotte. Let it out! Enough of this 5-country- sweep in your perfect dress and shoes. Enough of smiling and waving to strangers. You’ve had it!
And isn’t that the truth for our children too – when they begin to bawl and shout? It’s usually because they’ve had it also. They’re tired, hungry, over-whelmed, over-stimulated, sad, frustrated, and can’t take it anymore – and this is the only way – at their age and stage of brain development – to let you know.
Because the part of the brain that helps them to think logically and control their emotions, to help them think before they act, to problem solve, to reason isn’t developed yet. And its full development will take its own sweet time, growing in small increments before fully functioning when they are a young adult.
But you will begin to notice examples of maturation as your child moves on from this early age. This very morning I heard from a mom who was telling me how busy their summer was – so busy, in fact, that her 8-year-old son asked her, “Could we have more days of doing nothing?”
There you go. Now that’s a change in the right direction – no tantrum -just asking for what he needs.
Brain development in progress – for sure.