Maggie Dent says toddler tantrums and meltdowns are part of normal developmental behaviour…
Is there anything worse than being out in a public place only to have your child throw a spectacular tantrum without warning? Many parents are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid this situation, but parenting expert Maggie Dent says we shouldn’t be so afraid of a little foot stamping every now and then…
Nothing Has Changed
Maggie, a mum of four boys herself and author of countless parenting books, says that the fundamental things that children need as part of healthy development have remained the same. “I’m an old mum, but my message is the fundamental things children need hasn’t changed at all,” she told the ABC. “The sorts of things that push our buttons as parents are developmentally normal – things like sleeping problems with children, toilet training, meltdowns and toddler tantrums.” Maggie says that the mounting pressure to raise a tantrum free child is largely the result of the introduction of social media and online forums over the past 20 years. “Our stress levels are higher and our children are feeling it,” she said.
Maggie believes that a child having a meltdown is not always a reflection on the parents. “They’re all completely normal,” she said. “What happens when we get frustrated and we’ve tried things is we think we’re a lousy parent.” When Princess Charlotte famously threw a tantrum on the tarmac in Germany back in 2017, you could almost feel a collective sigh of relief from parents worldwide – even the royals have the odd toddler outburst to deal with now and again!
Has your child thrown an epic tantrum in public? Share your story in the comments.