Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Accidental Lesson We Taught Our Child: Tantrum On, Tantrum Off

A while ago I did a post detailing some lessons we have accidentally taught Aias.  This post will detail just one accidental lesson, but it's definitely worth a whole entry to itself.

We try, as most parents probably do, to not "give in" to tantrums over matters such as Aias really wanting something that he shouldn't/can't have.  For example, in Winners the other day Aias decided he really wanted a decorative ceramic dog cookie jar.  He doesn't need one of those, nor to we, and we also didn't want to pay for him breaking it, so of course he was aggravated that we wouldn't let him traipse around with it and put on a bit of a show.  This is pretty typical toddler behavior that we've come to expect of him, seeing as he's too little to really understand how to control his emotions.  Of course there have also been a few times where we've been in a coffee shop or dollar store, Aias has decided he's wanted a treat of some sort, and when we've said no only to lead to his loud kicking and screaming.  Once or twice we've given in for the sake of saving ourselves the embarrassment.  Sometimes $1 or $2 seems like a small price to pay for preserving your dignity in public. That being said, apparently these moments have really left quite the impression on little Aias.

Yesterday Aias was playing ball with the dog when the dog decided he'd had enough playing in pairs and wanted the ball all to himself.  The dog casually walked off to the corner of the room where he could chew the ball in peace, but Aias was pretty mad about this and wanted that ball to himself.  He calmly and coolly walked over to the corner of the room where the dog was peacefully chewing the ball, he laid down on the ground where he knew the dog could see him, and he began to tantrum.  Out of nowhere, as though someone had just pushed the "Tantrum On" button.  We then watched as the dog turned around so he wouldn't have to watch this, and Aias hit his "Tantrum Off" button, walked over to where the dog could see him, and pushed the "Tantrum On" button again.  This continued 2-3 more times, and eventually the dog relented, gave up the ball, Aias hit the "Tantrum Off" button again and happily walked off with his prize. Just like that! Emotions on, emotions off.

Morgan and I just watched in horror at this, and then upon realizing what had just happened, we laughed hysterically.  Clearly Aias thinks the "Tantrum On" button is a pretty effective button to hit if you want something.  Good thing we've allowed that impression to grow strong in our almost-2-year-old (note my sarcasm).


Evil genius or opportunist?  A product of A+ parenting regardless, heh. 

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