My thoughts about “Temper Tantrums”
I want to offer my understanding, as a parent who has seen “temper tantrums” and I was still required to be a dad, do the work, and be a steward to the young sovereign who was in my care. This is my metaphor for how I conceive of the responsibility of parenting, that the child is born into a form of captivity, that they own themselves, that my opportunity is to guide them from that captive state of not being able to provide for their own needs to the place of an adult, able to know, understand and practically provide what they need on all levels. I work as a steward, gradually giving the young sovereign (self-owning child) more power and abilities that they are self-interested in gaining, for the purpose that they intuitively know: their own liberty.
Children can know about and understand the idea of opportunity cost. If time is spent in one way, it cannot be spent in another. Time spent processing one’s feelings mean not being involved in other activities, and most children can intuit this and often can feel opportunities slipping away in the midst of their rage or other strong feelings. Also, knowledge and understanding of one’s self is part of the tasks required of all adults to know, and it is when we are children that such knowledge and understanding can best be learned and used.
Tantrums are anger, frustration. Emotions are always (from my research) connected to ephemeral concepts (called values and desires). One can teach the child the skills of knowing what is being felt, knowing what concepts are not being tended to (with effective strategies) in an acceptable way (designated so by the self-owning child), and knowing how to find strategies that better satisfy whatever values or desires were connected to the emotion that is being felt. It’s also called: “Being an adult, taking 100% responsibility for all of our feelings, knowing how to meet our needs (values and desires included)”. They can learn this, in fact it behooves us as their stewards to teach them this, and teach them it while they are little. Babies are full expressions of this, rationally expressing feelings till you find out what they need and you supply it. Toddlers are the same, but have greater learning capacity than when they were babies, and so on.
Here’s a list of the feelings, values and desires, which can better help both parent and child understand how to better take care of themselves, and to truly be a responsible, 100% self-owning adult: http://www.rabe.org/downloads/Feelings%20&%20Needs%20Inventories.pdf
Notice strategies (tangible plans) and thoughts are not on the lists. Hope this helps. :)
I know that even with two year old even a small amount of NVC knowledge understanding, and practice goes a long way. I know that as we all learn more about it we will all learn to all become much better about communicating our feeling and needs to each other, and not only will we speak to each other in a more life enriching way but we will all be better equipped to communicate to the world in a better way.