This is my youngest son, Nicholas. He is 6 years old, passionate, introverted – unlike his brothers – and intelligent. He has a remarkable memory and very much knows his own mind.
When he’s happy, he’s quietly happy. But when he’s not happy. Oh boy.
Don’t we all know it.
As of late, his temper has become an increasingly big problem.
Anything from not winning a game, not liking the tv show we are watching or that we are not having eggs for dinner…he will start to “rage.”
It’s like the Incredible Hulk.
“You don’t want to see me when I’m angry.”
In a split second, he can turn from a little sweetheart, to a giant atom bomb.
He will kick toys, clench his fists and give me the biggest frown he can muster.
When this behaviour does not make him get his own way, he will resort to using words.
“I’m never going to be nice again,”
“I won’t be your friend,”
He’s even gone so far as to say…
“I hate you now.”
I have tried to ignore the behaviour, which only makes it escalate as he is infuriated at being ignored.
If I’m firm and tell him off, he simply fights back.
If I ask him gently and sweetly, he just gets worse and more bossy.
I started to feel like I was at my wits end. Especially today, as we are all feeling under the weather. My throat hurts and I feel like I’ve got a virus that is telling my body to sit down and rest.
When Nicholas flipped from playing a nice two-player game on the PS4 with his brother, to raging and kicking things, I inwardly sighed.
I didn’t have the energy to try all the tactics I’ve read online about dealing with temper tantrums.
I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone remain calm and put into practise, different psychological tactics to calm my son down.
Nicholas walked over to me with the biggest frown on his face and shoulders hunched. I looked at him and suddenly a thought came out of nowhere.
“He’s feeling insecure and needs reassurance,”
So I went with my instincts and wrapped my arms around him and held him in a big hug.
Then I said loudly, “Mummy love!” And gave him kisses on his head and his cheeks.
He tried to fight me off for a few moments and I kept him in my arms saying, “Nope, mummy’s got you in a mummy hold. You’re going to feel nothing but love until you feel better and can be free!” I said in a sing song voice.
Nicholas suddenly burst out in laughter and said, “No, no!” With the biggest smile.
Ryan grabbed my phone and took pictures of the moment.
We were all laughing, even Daisy was jumping around us figuring out what was going on!
Nicholas hot temper was immediately cooled and he forgot what he was upset about.
Five minutes later Nicholas started to get moody again and I said “Uh Oh! Looks like Nicholas needs another mummy hug! With lots of love and kisses!” And Nicholas’ angry face broke into a beaming smile.
“Noooooo!” He said running away.
“Not the mummy hug!” I heard him say as he ran out the room.
So there you go. Next time your child is having a temper tantrum, try the “mummy hug!”
It might just be the best thing you ever did.