We had an interesting appointment with M’s occupational therapist today. When she arrived he was 10 minutes into a tantrum because I’d made him come in from the car. It was one of those fits where you’re torn between laughing at the ridiculousness of the face your kid is making (like a howler monkey) and crying because the tantrums just. keep. coming.
As I’m trying out different tactics to get him calmed down before we’ve wasted his whole therapy session (ignore him? ask questions? apply deep pressure?), the therapist began to PRAISE him.
“I know it’s hard to see because you’re the one at home all day dealing with this, but he’s got GREAT coping skills!” she enthused. “Even though he’s over-stimulated right now, he can still tell you no to things. He’s calling Mommy and inching towards you, which shows he’s trying to calm down. Try picking him up and holding him tight. See now how he keeps pulling your head on top of his? He clearly knows that deep pressure is going to help him.”
I have to admit: I’d never thought about tantruming having a skill set. In my mind, tantrum = inability to cope. I really appreciated having her perspective. Just goes to show, if you look hard enough there is a silver lining for everything!