Parents gotta be tough

My son, being an active 3-year old boy that he is, gets easily stimulated by a crowd of people and a place full of stuff. It doesn’t have to be interesting stuff; just stuff. He can turn anything into an interesting thing, because that’s the superpower all kids have I believe.

Having said that, it is not all rainbows and roses. Yes, I love that my son is active and I love that he is exploring the world around him. But, there is a catch. There will come a time when my son will make certain requests that I can’t fulfil. Or to be more exact, requests that I shouldn’t fulfil.

For example, he would see a candy store and want candies. My wife and I strictly limit his candy consumption. We believe it will cause him to be more hyper than he naturally is, and that can be nightmare for both parties. He would also want to play with certain things that shouldn’t be played with, like something made of glass or another kid’s toy.

When that happens, my wife and I know better that we need to enforce certain boundaries. Yes, we encourage him to explore but we are not the laissez-faire type parents. We intervene whenever we think we should intervene. When the time comes for an intervention, that is when we have to be prepared for the consequence.

Understandably, when you prevent or take away something that a kid really wants, he will showcase his frustration in the form of loud noises and frantic movements. The cool kids call it a tantrum. Whenever a tantrum strikes, parents have two options: let it be or make it stop.

The easiest thing to do? Make it stop.

How? Either show the kid who’s boss or give the kid an iPhone. Both ways are not ideal and can be harmful for the kid.

The hardest thing to do? Let it be. This is also the best thing to do. Let him take his frustration out and let his voice fills the air around. Just make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or others. But, let him release the Kraken inside and wait for him to tire himself out.

This requires a great level of patience, mental toughness, and tolerance for high levels of noise. Understandably, people will stare and it wouldn’t be farfetched to assume that they will accompany those stares with a certain type of judgment you don’t want hovering above your head.

But in the end, you have to make a choice between preserving your face or preserving your child’s emotional wellbeing.

Or, just try not to bring him to a crowded place.