You’re in aisle seven when the meltdown really begins. Just as you’re reaching for the spaghetti sauce, your kid reaches a whole new crescendo—from whine to full-on wail—followed by kicking and screaming, and accompanied, of course, by sympathetic
or judgmental looks from other shoppers.
Ah, the temper tantrum.
While you can draw on what you learned about
parenting from how you were parented as a child, that
may not always be the example or model you want to
follow. “For some, this was a good experience, for others,
not,” says Leslie Barker, a health promotion facilitator
with Alberta Health Services’ Early Childhood Team.
“You can take the things that made you feel valued as a
person and discard the things that weren’t helpful. You
can learn new ways.”
AHS and other community groups throughout the
province offer a number of programs and resources that
encourage and inform healthy parenting methods for
raising kids that encourage both warmth and structure.
“We’re bringing up our citizens for the future and
leaders for tomorrow,” says Barker. “Parents are children’s
first teachers and the biggest influence in a young child’s
life. And children absolutely need their parents’ guidance
in knowing what to do and what not to do,” Barker says.
“Your children need to have limits and boundaries, but
those need to be set with warmth and understanding.
Parents can be kind and firm at the same time.”
So back to aisle seven, where your child is in mid-
meltdown. What to do? Take him to a quiet place until
he has calmed down, Barker advises, and after, try to
think about how you can help prevent this happening
again. It begins with understanding what’s going on in
both your days.