Tantrum Time: Why does nobody ever want to talk about the bad days?


What I hear from gentle-parenting parents is all good stories about how wonderful their children are and all their blogs are about happy, sweet, gentle and kind stories about how lovely everything in life is.

All I hear from traditional strict parents is stories about how horrible their kids are and how they don’t put up with that nonsense and how they spank it out of their kids.

I’d really, really love to hear from gentle parents about their really shitty days, when their gently parented kids are screaming on the floor for no reason except that they’re having a bad day. I’d like to hear stories from parents who are trying to raise non-violent kids of the days when nothing works and you’re at your wits end, ten seconds from losing every drop of cool you have because the last FOUR HOURS have been non-stop hysterical temper tantrums for no definable reason, where you’ve tried everything, but your child is just completely…. overboard.

Because my child is completely overboard.
I am at the end of my rope.
It’s nothing but screaming, incoherent shrieking and sobbing, and he doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t want me, or his father, or anyone. He screams and demands a bottle, and then he screams and throws the bottle away. He sits on your lap and hugs you with his arms, but kicks you with his feet, screaming to put him down- but if you put him down, he screams he doesn’t want down.

He’s been doing this since noon and I’m at the end of sanity, and I’m having a nervous breakdown, and I’m trying so hard to hold onto the fact that he’s only two, that he doesn’t articulate well, that he’s probably hot or tired. I try to hold onto the fact that he’s not doing this on purpose to hurt me or aggravate me or manipulate me and that to him, there’s something wrong that I’m just not seeing but…

And I can’t call my mother because she already believes that I can’t do this, and gods forbid I post it to any public forum for fear of the nasty flames I’d get about how it’s my own fault and if I didn’t spoil him and how when he starts this I should just spank him and let him know it’s unacceptable.

But I’ve hit the end of my rope. I’m tired, I haven’t slept because he keeps waking up and I keep waking up (pregnant) and I don’t even know if I can do this. I mean, what if it is my fault and that’s why he’s doing this, because I’m spoiling him or something.

I don’t want to believe that. Not that it might be something I’m doing, I’m okay with that. I don’t want to believe that I have to raise my children with violence and force to ‘make’ them into good people. I don’t want to believe that the only possible way to raise children is by punishing them harshly for every mistake.

But those are the only people who speak up about their bad days. Those are the folks who get pissed at you when you say you’re trying to raise gentle children by modeling gentleness. They get offended and they must feel like I’m attacking them, because they attack me back- except I’m not attacking them. I don’t care. I don’t care if they spank their kids or not. I just know what I want to do raising mine, and it’s not that path.

But I’m so far broken at this point that I’m afraid if I post this anywhere, I’m going to get the host of hateful comments about how ‘spanking didn’t hurt me’ and ‘how dare I criticize their discipline.’

Except I’m all alone right now, with a screaming toddler who has no reason for his tantrums that he’s willing to tell me, looking at all the blogs and books of peaceful parents who never have posts like “I am so completely at the end of my rope because my child is misbehaving and won’t stop screaming” and instead are full of sunshine and light and no decent advice at all for my situation.

Several hysterical sobbing minutes on my part later and I have some semblance of sanity back. For now. But it’s still so exasperating.

After some consultation with my mom (because, it’s inevitable, really) I have come to the conclusion that he’s hot. I’ve got the fan on him now, and I gently wiped him down with cool water (until he woke enough to object) and put ice in his milk bottle and lemonade with ice in his other bottle, and (watered down milk aside) that should help him cool off when he decides to have a drink.

Post rant, I feel better. Thanks for listening.


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