Lessons from Ep.726 – “Perfectionism and Tantrums”

ZPR Blog, Weekly Podcast, Zen Parenting

Hey fellow parents and guardians,

Though a week late 😊 (better late than never), I’m back with more reflections from Todd and Cathy’s latest Zen Parenting Radio Podcast episode; this one titled “Perfectionism and Tantrums”.

Before we get into the heart of this episode, let’s take a moment to celebrate their announcement about the return of the Zen Parenting in-person get-togther event in Chicago/OakBrook, January 2024. If you’re worried about teenagers navigating today’s complex world (and let’s be real, who isn’t?), this event promises to offer some much-needed perspective. Click here to learn more. There are limited spots!  Now let’s dive in.

Tantrums: Not a Problem, but a Message

Ever walked into the living room only to find your six-year-old in the midst of a full-blown tantrum? Yeah, me too. Todd and Cathy urge us to look at tantrums, not as problematic behavior but as a form of communication. Kids at this age are still figuring out how to control their emotions, and a tantrum is just a dramatic way of saying, “Hey, I’m overwhelmed here!”

The key takeaway? Don’t try to rationalize the fears and emotions your child is experiencing. Validate them instead. They’re not mini-adults; they’re kids. Their emotional compass is still under construction.

Labels and Self-Image

Todd and Cathy also share an eye-opening discussion about a child who thought she was a “bad daughter” and even showed signs of self-harm.  It’s a stark reminder that words have power. Let’s retire the labels of “good” or “bad” when referring to our kids. Instead, focus on the actions—good choices and not-so-great choices. This way, we teach them that their worth isn’t tied to what they do but who they are.

The Power of Touch and Being Present

Ever tried talking sense into a child having an emotional meltdown? Yeah, it doesn’t work. Todd and Cathy remind us that the focus should be on comforting the child, not lecturing them. A hug, a gentle touch, or just being there silently can do wonders in calming a stormy emotional landscape. Save the lessons for when they’re receptive, not when they’re spiraling.

The Perils of Comparison and Perfectionism

Comparing your child to others is a recipe for disaster. Todd and Cathy strongly advise against it, emphasizing the importance of recognizing that each child is unique in their emotional needs and expressions. They also take a strong stand against the societal glorification of perfectionism. It’s okay to be imperfect; in fact, it’s human. Let’s teach our kids that it’s okay to have flaws and vulnerabilities.

Are you a perfectionist?

Humanizing, Not Humiliating

The next time your child spills milk all over your freshly cleaned floor, take a deep breath. Todd and Cathy advocate for humanizing instead of humiliating responses. Validate their feelings and let them know it’s okay to make mistakes. Let’s not turn these moments into trauma but into lessons.

A Shift in Societal Values

Lastly, the couple makes a compelling argument for a shift in societal values. The metrics of success should be wellness, not GDP. The younger generations are already moving in this direction, emphasizing balanced and meaningful lives over material success. And that’s a bandwagon we should all get on.

In Conclusion

Todd and Cathy’s episode offers to improve our own emotional intelligence to help with our parenting. They encourage open communication, validation, and the importance of being emotionally present for our kids.

As parents, we’re all learning on the job. The challenges are endless, but so are the rewards. And with guidance like this, the journey seems a little less daunting.

A little laughter and levity goes a long way too! Todd & Cathy never seem to fail to bring us doses of that as well. Check out these blooper-esque clips 😆

Till next time, keep on parenting the Zen way!

Best, Brad

Listen to the full episode here

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