Parent temper tantrums

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Parent temper tantrums

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It's not a question of if we lose it with our children, but when. Parenting is so difficult and so stressful, that losing it every once in a while will happen to all of us. By losing it, I mean, screaming and throwing an adult temper tantrum. How can we move on, pick up the pieces, and not feel like we've traumatized our children? If children own parent's feelings while they are losing it, that can be problematic. They feel like they deserve to be yelled at, that they are bad because they caused their mom to be mad. We help this by owning our own process and helping support the child's feelings. Examples are, "Wow, you got really scared when I yelled at you. You didn't deserve to be yelled at like that. I have to figure out a way to let you know I am mad without scaring you." Or, "I'm still learning how to show you I am mad without hurting your feelings. You didn't like it when I yelled." When a child hears that a parent is saying that it is their problem and not the child's, their self-esteem can be preserved. They gradually learn that we are not perfect and we are still learning. Throughout this whole process, they are still loved.

Watch Barbara Olinger, MSW's video on Parent temper tantrums...

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Barbara Olinger, MSW

Parenting Consultant

Barbara Olinger has her master's degree in social work and has been working with children and families in both therapeutic and educational settings for over 30 years. She is currently Director of Family Development at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside and has a private practice focusing on parenting education and teacher training.  She is the author of the parenting book, Growing From the Roots: A Practical Guide to the Art of Parenting, now on DVD along with Welcoming Your Second Child. She has two sons, ages 23 and 20 years old.  

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