Thursday, March 12, 2009


Our 4-year-old has a tendency to throw tantrums when we're going to go somewhere--usually somewhere fun, even--like the zoo. It's as if we're taking him to get an arsenal of shots at the doctor or something. We even let him know: "We're going somewhere fun. You've been there before; you've liked it. We're not sneaking in a trip to the place where they kill puppies just to be mean. We're trying to do a fun outing."

We don't put up with tantrums. Never have, never will. If he throws one when we're trying to go somewhere or do something that will end up being a fun outing, he gets a time out as soon as we get home.

Today, it was for going to the library. He and his brother both enjoy the library. There are puzzles, hand puppets and, of course, plenty of books. But he would not get his shoes or coat on to go. He ended up with the time out when we got home as well as having some of his favorite toys in time out for a few days. I hate dragging him out of our apartment kicking and screaming, but that seems like the only option unless we just don't go anywhere. And, of course, he ended up enjoying the time at the library.

As much as we've emphasized (and our kids do understand) that we don't put up with tantrums and that tantrums don't accomplish anything (except a timeout or missing out on something fun), the kids still throw them (even the 2-year-old is beginning to try them out). They have been getting better since we've implemented the after-we-return-home-you-will-have-a-time-out punishment. I just wish they'd stop all together. Someday? Soon?

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