Bring on the Toddler Temper Tantrums
This is what I was expecting. She is one—a toddler. I expect her to try and assert her independence and get what she wants. This is normal for her stage in development.
What I was not expecting were the intense stares, disapproving looks, nudges and comments from other parents, asking me to shut my child up. The looks were along the lines of: "All right, lady, just give her what she wants so I don't have to listen to her cry. Give her a cookie; let her run wild; anything, anything, to make it stop. Why can't you control your child?"
Can I just say, "NO!"? No, I'm not giving in to my toddler's temper tantrum so she will stop throwing a fit. For crying out loud, she's one, not five or six. This is normal behavior for her age. If I give in to her tantrums now, she will be the five- or six-year old rolling around on the floor to get what she wants. She needs to learn now that throwing a fit doesn't work. Period. Or I could end up with a teenager on my Super Sweet Sixteen saying, "Daddy, this $150,000 party you're throwing me is not enough. I have to have Timbaland at my party or it will be the worst party ever. I also need the newest Lexus SUV that no one else has or my party will be so lame. You are ruining my life!"
You can laugh and think I'm being extreme about toddler temper tantrums, but this sort of behavior starts somewhere. Maybe it started with these kids getting the cookie or toy they wanted as toddlers.
I applaud all you parents out there who don't give in even when strangers' stares bore into your soul and judge your parenting abilities. You parents who stand firm even when the pressure from everyone around you is to do whatever it takes to get your child to be quiet. It's hard. The temptation is there. However, by not giving in you are actually training your child and helping her grow up into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. I am right there behind you, encouraging you. That is, if I'm not dealing with a temper tantrum myself.