Responding to Tantrums with Respect

As a parent of a just-turned-four-year-old, tantrums are never all that far from my mind. But the holidays got me thinking about them again in earnest.

We traveled to see family at Christmas this past year, and my husband and I also had long stretches of togetherness with our son that are unusual for us in our typical daily dropoff-work-pickup-dinner-bath-bedtime scramble.

This together-time was beautiful, and we got to know our son again in the sweet tiny moments, when he was thinking about what planets are, or what his parents were like as children, or what he used to do when he was small(er).


He also spit in our faces quite a few times. And threw several pretty stellar tantrums.

And, as you do, we got to witness a lot of parenting on our travels. I try not to judge parents if I can help it, and traveling parents get extra slack from me. I felt for both the kids and parents I saw, locked together in meltdown mode, and decided on one of our flights to take a stab at writing about these challenging moments. I hope the post will be helpful to you.

I wrote this post for the Well Clinic in San Francisco, where I spent a year supporting parents who were also working on their parenting and partnerships through the therapeutic relationship. Check out the post on the Well Clinic blog. And let me know what you think in the comments!

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