It’s one thing if your toddler has a kicking, screaming tantrum in the supermarket, which is actually on target developmentally, as embarrassing as it can be for you. But what if your child is still at it when they’re three, four or even five? As kids get older, we expect more from them, and rightly so. But it can be tough to know what’s okay because it’s ‘just a stage’ and what’s no longer age-appropriate.
“Should I intervene, or let them work it out?” This is the question every parent contemplates when kids argue with each other. Two opinions prevail: “Yes, intervene! It’s worse when they are left to work it out themselves,” or “No, they will never learn to get along with others if an adult manages their squabbles.” In truth, most parents respond far less consistently during an argument, staying out of it until they just can’t take the fighting anymore, then swooping in to strong-arm the situation into resolution.
This may sound cynical, but bear with me. When someone pays you to help a child, you’re a good psychologist. When you try in vain to help a child, and then the child succeeds in spite - not because - of your help, you’re a good mother. I feel qualified to make this distinction because I’ve been both psychologist and mother.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child