There’s so many tears when you’re a parent — and we aren’t just talking about your own. It’s the most obvious fact of life with babies — they cry. A lot. But so do toddlers, preschoolers, grade school kids and even teenagers. The reasons change over the years and maybe the frequency, but crying and tantrums is definitely one of the less desirable (yet, totally predictable) parts of parenthood.
The good news is, sometimes these tantrums and wailing jags are kind of funny. OK, sometimes they’re really funny. Kids throw fits for infuriating and also, hilarious reasons and a good way to cope is to try and see how amusing it really is. You may not be able to acknowledge that when it’s happening, but looking back, many of your child’s worst meltdowns are actually comic gold. Just ask the funny parents of Twitter, who joke about this ugly part of raising kids like it’s their job.
1. It’s pretty effective.
Even the most consistent disciplinarians lose their ability to negotiate with tiny terrorists once in a while, so sometimes, we give in to tantrums. And toddlers seem to understand that in a way they don’t understand that there’s only one Elsa sippy cup and it’s dirty right now so they’ll just have to wait until- OH FINE, MOMMY WILL WASH IT, JUST STOP SCREAMING!
2. A worthy reason.
During the toddler years, you try to focus on how your kids will get older and one day, the constant crying will be a distant memory. No more tantrums. No more tears for no reason. But then, you have an over-tired first grader slumped at the kitchen table at 7:00 pm and she’s simply not having any more of this Common Core math horseshit. So, the tears start to flow. And honestly, can you blame her?
3. Can party favors please go die somewhere?
It isn’t enough that you suffered through half a Saturday at some kid’s loud, bouncy house birthday party, your child got crappy parting gifts to boot. And when you try to quietly dispose of this worthless junk, your child remembers eventually and wants to know where their treasure has gone. Why can’t kids do that great thing they did as babies where something disappears and they forget it ever existed? Mastering object permanence is a developmental accomplishment that can certainly wait until middle school, right?
4. Because moving is hard.
Anyone who thought toddler-level tantrums only start around age two has obviously never observed a pissed off (and immobile) baby trying to get to an item they want. Hell hath no fury like a stranded infant pining away for the dog’s gross chunk of rawhide that’s juuust out of their reach.
5. That is kind of upsetting.
Sometimes, it’s toast half a shade too brown. Other times, it’s you not cheering loudly enough when they poop on the potty. And still other times, it’s something so totally ridiculous you can’t help but cry right along with them. Because you clearly aren’t beating them. Might as well join.
6. You would cry too if it happened to you.
When this happens, you have to banish all thoughts of the vomit, poop, pee and chewed up McNugget you might be crawling in and keep your eye on the prize — your wailing child. And by the end, you’ll probably be crying too. Because, ew.
7. It’s about the same, really.
It’s super fun imagining all the horrible possibilities as you race to your screaming kid. Such suspense, so much action. Will they be missing a limb, or did Netflix not auto-play the episode of “Bubble Guppies” they were expecting? It’s anyone’s guess.
8. Don’t act like you wouldn’t do it.
Sometimes, you give a tantruming kid what they want to avoid public embarrassment. But once you’re alone, you can exact revenge. And it can be so sweet. Literally, in this case.
9. One wrong move and you’re late.
Trying to avoid a commute-derailing meltdown in the morning is a little like defusing a bomb. Cross the wrong wires, and everything explodes. Good luck!
10. How dare you?!
Deep breaths. And when that doesn’t work, chug wine.
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