My five year old had a temper tantrum this weekend during which he started throwing toys at his brothers until both were screaming and clutching injured hands, heads, whatever the toy hit.
These tantrums are rare, but when they happen, beware the wrath of the little man. I have already warned the kindergarten teacher to watch out for a flying lunchbox at some point during the year. She thinks I am crazy.
So this weekend, I charged into the playroom, picked him up and carried him up two flights of stairs (no easy task), then dropped him into his bed.
“You are in time out.”
Tears streaming down his cheeks, he grabbed a teddy bear as if to throw it, then registered my face. He switched course. Tears came and the inevitable youngest child rant, “Nobody ever wants to play with me!”
I left the room.
When all finally fell silent, I waited another ten minutes before returning.
“Honey, you cannot hit people. You cannot throw things at people,” I instructed. “You will get in trouble every time.”
Sniffle. Sniffle. Cross arms. Mad face.
“And you will certainly get in trouble if you do it in kindergarten,” I added. “Your teacher will be mad at you. The kids will be afraid of you. You will have to go to the Principal’s office, and she’ll be mad at you too.”
He straightened up as if suddenly relieved. “Kindergarten doesn’t have a Principal.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Honey, you know the office outside the music room?”
He looked at me suspiciously.
“That’s the Principal’s office. She’s the kindergarten principal too. I do not want to hear that you had to go there. Got it?”
“Ok,” he said seriously before once again switching gears on me. “Do you know what’s so funny?”
And that’s how almost every one of his time outs end.
“Do you know what’s so funny?” with a big grin.