Stop Temper Tantrums Like a Caveman

Smart parents talk to kids like the vicious little primitives they are
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 12:28 PM CST
Take the knuckle-dragger's approach to dealing with screaming 2-year-olds.   (Index Open Stock)
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(Newser) – When your kid has a temper tantrum, they’re a lot like a Neanderthal, reports LiveScience. Two-year-olds are still driven by instinct and emotion, explains one pediatrician, not the higher reasoning of mature adults. So don’t try to logic away a tantrum (“But honey you already have that action figure”), engage them with simple caveman sentences such as, “You are angry.”

For primitive 2-year-olds, logic just invalidates their feelings. Instead, parents should tell kids they hear them and understand, no matter how embarrassing the situation. Strong emotions are a part of human evolution—as adults we flop down on the psychiatrist’s couch; as toddlers, we throw tantrums. In both cases, we’re looking for someone to hear and validate our emotions.