How to identify a tantrum

All hail the mighty crap storm that is a tantrum. No matter if your tiny human is 2 years old or 6 years old they will still be able to floor you with displays of pure rage that generally come from nowhere at all.

Here is the spotters guide to tantrums –

Level 5

Description – this is an initial level tantrum. Usually held when trying their luck and seeing if a brief flash of rage will get them the toy, biscuit or shoe they want.

Identifying features – no tears, lots of noise and it’s all over in a very short period of time

Solution – distraction by making strange noises or pointing behind them and saying “what’s that”

Level 4

Description – this is an entry level tantrum that could easily scale up the chart. You’ll see this kind of tantrum when you ask them to share a toy or stop emptying the shelves of toilet paper at the shop.

Identifying features – plays heavily on you being embarrassed at their behaviour and likely to give in easily, some tears, quite a lot of noise and lots of wobbly lip action.

Solution – give in to what they want and tell the people you are with that “they’ve never done that before” while acting shocked. Deal with your lies later by drinking enough wine to pretend it didn’t happen. Secondary course of action is to stand your ground and face the possibility you will either win this round or the tantrum will scale up to level three.

Level 3

Description – loud whining with tears and pulling at your t-shirt / hair / trousers

Identifying features – this kind of tantrum is nearly always accompanied by the tiny human shouting MINE in between screams and making their feelings of injustice clear.

Solution – either buying the bloody thing they have become attached to, distracting them with food or trying to diffuse the situation with a cuddle. The some wine.  For you obviously. Not the toddler. Although…….

Level two

Description – lots of rage, lots of tears, snotty nose and incoherent words.

Identifying features – this kind of tantrum is rarely held at home as it’s mostly saved for public outings to restaurants and libraries. You can help to identify this level by the glares you’ll be given by the people around you – if you are getting sympathetic looks its a level 3 but if they hate you it’s a level 2.

Solution – this is a big one so frankly whatever works for you is the solution. For us we try to distract with cuddles, then food, then books and finally iPad. If none of this works we generally go home.

Level 1

Description – white hot, star killing rage. Only experienced in public, at events such as weddings and funerals or when visiting schools.

Identifying features – dogs howling, other children screaming and you’ll probably be hiding under the table.

Solution – there is none. Pick up your child, pack up your things and go home. Do not pass go and do not collect £200. Put Mr Bloody Tumble on and sit in the kitchen staring at the clock waiting till 5pm when you can open the bottle of wine. Always have an emergency bottle of wine in the fridge for this occasion or a bottle of vodka in the freezer.

One thought on “How to identify a tantrum

  1. Penny says:

    This is still my favourite tantrum related blog. It is exactly right. Every level. I especially like “the wine advice”

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