My son had been coloring a mask and had accidentally pushed the tip of the cheaply made marker too hard, and it disappeared. I have no idea where it went, but of course, knowing it was not his fault the markers that came with the dollar store kit were cheap, I encouraged him that things were OK. There were still seven other markers the kit came with that he could use.
That’s when I heard a temper tantrum ensue:
I can’t do it! There is not enough orange in the marker for me to finish coloring my mask!
While I was impressed that he was moving on from yellow and going to finish his mask with orange, I was disappointed with the attitude he had.
We’ve all been there before with our children. Something discourages or upsets them and they show it.
But I want to encourage you to take a good look at what they are doing. In the above scenario, my son wasn’t just throwing a temper tantrum. Something got difficult, and rather than finding a solution…
He was quitting!
If I had just seen this as another temper tantrum of frustration, this opportunity would have passed by. He would learn how easy it is to quit and not see the need or possibility of searching for a solution. I know that, sadly, I am quick to quit. If I saw an easy way out when growing up, I took it. I want better for my children. I want them to learn to recognize when they are quitting, and that they need to persevere and look for solutions.
So I pointed out to him that he was quitting. I am not sure if it is just my son or boys in general but he did NOT like that at all. He did not want to be a quitter! So we talked about what it meant to quit and how he was quitting rather than looking for a solution. He was quitting because he was only looking at orange and the fact there was not enough. We talked through how it is ok to use different colors, even within the same lines! (Oh whoever thought of putting lines of images for us to color really put a lot of us inside a very tiny box!)