About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Friday, December 18, 2009


The other day (was it yesterday?) my eldest had a knock-down-drag-out fit complete with screaming, kicking the wall, and throwing things. It was over something really little, but she was quite upset. It has got me to thinking about tantrums.

Tantrums show the sin nature at its worst. The child is having a fit because he or she wants something he or she cannot have. The child is expressing displeasure because she did not get her way. The child is not submitting to authority. Yet, at the same time, the child is still only a child. Self control certainly has not been mastered, and some of these things will come with time.

I have been reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp for Bible study at church. While I realize that this is not scripture, a lot of people that I respect really like his advice. He speaks against "isolation" (ie sending a child to their room) as a disciplinary tactic.

However, in the midst of a fit, this is the only thing that works! I send her to her room, let her have her issue, then deal with it when she is calmer.

However, I have not yet figured out what to doabout the tantrum. Do I ignore it (popular psychology's take), discipline her (Tripp's take) or just talk to her (what I usually do)? Yesterday after she was in her room for a while she was repentent and appologetic. Isn't that the goal of discipline - to bring the child back into a proper relationship with the authority (parents/God)? So if she says she is sorry and asks forgiveness, is it done? Or does she still need discipline?

These are questions that are hard to answer. While the Bible is clear on many things about discipline, it does not openly say how to deal with a fit. I opted to talk about the behavior and accept her oppology this time. But I am second guessing myself. Any motherly wisdom out there?


Heather said...

Good questions!! Logan had a temper issue the past two nights. I have and continue to use both talking to him and/or disciplining him...depending on the issue at hand. It is a hard call. I don't think you should ignore it though...isn't that teaching them they did nothing wrong? There are probably a hundred different ways to answer your quesitons.

MommaHarms said...

+9Typically Heather when she screams and kicks she gets disciplined for that action (at three I focus on discipline for actions, not attitude) but she was so repentent. Although I don't want her to learn that a tearful "I'm sorry" gets her out of punishment.

Adventure Mom Janna said...

Well, I'm just gonna say what I think now and maybe eat my words later.

I think she should be disciplined. Otherwise it seems you are saying you can explode and go to your room and then apologize and not have any consequences other than guilt. Whether she feels bad or not she needs to see there is a tangible consquence to her wrong choice.

You want to get to the point that she gets upset and asks to be excused or appeal respectfully-not blow up to begin with. I know it's gonna be a long process but worth it.

If there is no consequence to deter her, what motivation does she have to stop the habit of throwing a tantrum (certainly not her sin nature)? Or her guilt that she made mommy feel bad? She needs to know her actions were against Eph 6:1-3.

A spanking might actually help her cleanse her guilty conscience and help motivate her to think twice before she kicks and screams.It's a tangible reinforcement for a little mind who can't always handle reason.

Yes she is a child, but as a parent that's where patient instruction comes in and helps drive the foolishness out so that she doesn't remain a child. Some qualities if not addressed are never outgrown.

In a Sunday School class that behavior could be very difficult for a teacher to handle and so I think you would want to take it very seriously before it becomes any more of a habit and begins occuring in public settings.

It's late and I hope I wasn't too direct. Spanking hurts our hearts so much!