Parenting is one of the more rewarding responsibilities one can assume as a grown up. Aside from the sheer joy it effortlessly oozes, it brings with it invaluable life lessons. You learn to not only let go of, but also to sacrifice your own needs and wishes for another individual. You don’t have to do it. You want to do it. It’s almost as if being a parent activates an extra special emotional impetus, turns on a unique ‘love’ switch, and brings forth an innate superpower that enables you to transcend every limit, scare every fear away and take on any challenge. The glory of any and every relationship seems to pale in comparison with the radiance of parenthood.
A whole other human being becomes the centre of your life. A mere mention of this individual motivates you to do things you never thought you were capable of. In order to provide for this person, you gladly give all you’ve got and all of yourself. You go to any lengths to see a smile on the face of your child.
Yet, one day, there is trouble in this perfect little paradise of unconditional love, affection and constant doting. Your little one seems to have become a handful. You thought being a parent was rewarding and enriching. Well, now, it seems like a keenly acquired skill that only a few seem to possess. You are at your wits’ end and nothing seems to work with your cranky little monster. Almost as if, your child has assumed the role of an exacting teacher, demanding unprecedented levels of patience. You seem to be doing everything right, and yet, everything seems to be going wrong. What is happening? You wonder. With the best of intentions, insights and knowledge, you find yourself throwing up your hands at the tantrums of your child.
Investigation into the matter might reveal more than what seems obvious. While temper tantrums are often considered a regular phase of early childhood, more often than not, they could be signs of deeper issues, including depression. Psychologists advise caregivers to watch out for tell-tale signs that could be causes for serious concern. For instance, aggression toward the parent/caregiver, destructive tendencies, yelling, throwing things, falling apart for not getting the desired object, head-banging, biting or scratching oneself until the skin bleeds, and hurting oneself or others during a tantrum.
Temper tantrums are known to occur between the ages of one and seven when children see themselves as the centre of the universe. A tantrum is how a child expresses his or her frustration with the world. A lack of control over their surroundings and a sense of injustice define such behaviour. However, throwing a tantrum can also point towards a child’s inability to handle emotions such as anger, says child psychologist Tishya Mahindru Shahani. “A tantrum is likely to transpire if a child feels s/he deserves or needs that which is being deliberately withheld from him/her. It could be a favourite cookie, a video game or a new toy at the store,” she adds.
Times have not just changed but completely transformed. The simpler perceptions of parenthood have morphed into a more thoughtful, an almost contemplative approach.