How to Deal With the Dreaded Before-School Tantrum

Kids always (and I mean always) have a way of acting up at the very worst times. I mean, do they have a sixth sense in the temporal lobe of their brain that lets them know when you’re really in a hurry and you need them to behave? The other morning I was in a massive rush. My 5-year-old decided he was going to sleep in past his normal 6 a.m. rise time and I slept right through my alarm.

I hate to be late to anything and with everything I have to do in the morning to get kids ready and off to school I was in sprint mode. I usually have a little bit of time between when I drop off my eldest son and the time I have to leave again to drop off my youngest, but not that day. It was down to the wire on everything, with zero minutes to spare.

I asked my son if he would like to wear the new brown shoes (that he had picked out) to school that day. He excitedly said yes and I was happy because it was a clear cut decision that took no time to make. So I sprinted up the stairs to his bedroom, grabbed the boots, and quickly squeezed his little feet into them.

I was feeling pretty good about being on time and, wouldn’t you know it, my son decided he hated the new shoes I had bought for him. He not only hated them and wasn’t going to wear them, but he decided he was going to have a full-on meltdown, complete with crying and movements that, if you didn’t know better, you would have mistaken for a seizure. It’s an episode that will go down in history as “shoe-gate” in our house.

Next page: As parents, we can handle this situation in one of two ways.

Now, I could have handled this one of two ways. I could have given in to his tantrum and let him have his way and put different shoes on him, or I could have just told him those were the shoes he chose to wear and those were the ones he was wearing. I chose the latter. Those were the shoes he had chosen and that was what he was wearing to school. Had I given in, he would have had me forever. He would have known that he could get his way every time by throwing a fit whenever he didn’t want to do something. That is parental suicide! He wasn’t happy having to wear the shoes, but at the end of the day that was the best decision. We made it to school on time (just barely) and he ended up loving his new shoes after all.

Don’t give in to a tantrum. It will only show your child that you will cave anytime he acts up trying to get his way. If you’re a first time parent, trust me on this one. Stick to your guns consistently. It will. mean the difference between having a little angel or a little devil on your hands.