Blog of the Week: Toddler Tantrums – What the f*ck am I doing wrong?!

Blog_of_the_week_badgeWe’ve all been through the toddler tantrum years, and if you haven’t yet – well they are on their way!

So whether you want to reminisce, offer advice, or see what you are in for – have a read of Eeh Bah Mum’s hilarious post on what toddler tantrums are all about.


If you are expecting advice on how to deal with a stroppy toddler then Google again.

This is not the blog you are looking for. Move along. I have a serious parenting issue and I’m asking for help.

(Dramatic music kicks in):

Sometimes my 2 year old son refuses to eat toast on the blue plate because he wants to choose another colour plate.

toast on plate

CUT TO:  Close ups of people running screaming down the street.

OK I know it doesn’t sound THAT bad.

Remember how the entire nation got their knickers in a twist over an old lady taking a beardy guys ice cream out of the freezer on The Great British Bake Off? Yeah well this is like that – but with toast instead of ice cream. Oh hang on. Does that make me the old lady or the grumpy hipster? Sh*t I don’t want to be either of them. Ignore my attempt at an analogy. Back to the toast.

Usually my reaction to the demand for a different plate is to ignore it. No pissing about with fancy plate choices in my house. This is a brilliant no-nonsense system.

Well it would be. If only it worked.

Instead the toast on the blue plate is ignored and starts to curl up at the edges in fear.

Now I’m stuck I don’t want to give in as I’m worried about the message this sends to my son. That he can dig his heels in and eventually get everything he wants?

But if I don’t swap the plate the toast will remain uneaten and I will have wasted my time, some bread and I will still be left with a hungry child.

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums

It would have been easier to swap the plate in the first place.

Do I retreat or hold the line?

Why does it require a degree in child psychology/modern warfare just to serve toast? Supernanny would know what to do. That’s why she is super. I’m just Mummy I have no superlative prefix to help me. And I need help. What the f*ck am I doing wrong?

As I see it there are 3 ways to deal with this situation:

  • A) Comply with the original request for a change of plate.
  • B) Stick to my guns and deal with a ridiculous level of fallout for what is essentially a bit of hot bread.
  • C) Redesign the house so everything is one matching colour.

Toast is not the only battleground.

My son insists on carrying his favourite toys with him everywhere he goes. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • 5 plastic models depicting the entire life cycle of a frog.
  • 2 Fisher Price helicopters with matching captains (both male: another contentious issue to be dealt with later)
  • A fire engine.
  • A large Duplo plane with detachable wings, engines and captain (male) in a seat.
  • Dinosaurs – various, medium to large.
  • A squeaky crocodile plus replacement non squeaky crocodile we acquired when we thought we had lost the squeaky one thus adding another item to the list.
  • Massive cuddly Gruffalo toy.
  • A plastic bucket.

He wanders round the house dragging everything with him screaming ‘I can’t do it!’ at the top of his lungs every time a bit falls of his plane. As you can imagine it’s brilliant fun. Who wouldn’t want to live with a tiny hoarder with anger issues?

Image: Netmums

Image: Netmums

Every time we leave the house we have a fight about leaving stuff behind. Because  – guess what? When we take all this stuff out with us we lose bits.

My options are:

  • A) Have him lose his sh*t because he can’t bring stuff with him.
  • B) Take all the stuff with us and deal with him losing his sh*t later when we literally lose his sh*t.
  • C) ?

Please someone come up with another option that doesn’t involve anyone losing any sh*t?

I’d very much like to keep my sh*t together please.

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.


More funny reasons why toddlers have tantrumstoddler rule wellies

Toddler Rules – toddlers have their own rule books – don’t they?

Ten ways to diffuse toddler tantrums

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Blog of the Week, Humour, Toddlers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Blog of the Week: Toddler Tantrums – What the f*ck am I doing wrong?!

  1. Natasha says:

    My daughter was (and still is sometimes) like that. She has always been very willful. The way I found to avoid her being a brat is to ask her what colour plate she wants. If she asks for blue, but then asks for another colour once the food’s been dished up – too bad for her. She already made her choice.

    When she wants to take a toy with when we go somewhere, she gets to choose one. She also wanted to take a whole truckload of toys with on outings, but I just said no. Either choose one, or we leave without any of the toys. In the beginning there was a few tantrums, but she stopped very quickly and got into the habit of taking only one thing with.

    Giving advice on how to handle tantrums isn’t easy because all kids are different and have different needs. What works for me and my daughter might not work for you and your child because of our different personalities. So try out different approaches which won’t compromise you, but will also not compromise your child’s needs (not wants, NEEDS).

  2. Helen M says:

    Been there! I used to feel it was my job to stand my ground. That was until I realised how indecisive I am. Ok, I might not change the colour of my plate but I am liable to swap just about everything else: shoes, books, ideas… So why am I not allowing my children the same freedom?

    Now they are allowed to change their minds (within reason) and where it’s not viable I am able to give them a legitimate reason that they understand. Also I feel less of a dictator not preventing them from doing something just because ‘I said so!”

  3. This made me laugh out loud – you may as well have been writing about my son! Thanks for sharing and for acknowledging the constant state of potential warfare that exists with a wilful toddler in the house. We once had a full-on meltdown because he wanted to eat the food that was right in front of him, but was refusing to eat it screaming “I want it!!!” As for advice? Choose your battles and drink wine when he’s gone to bed.

  4. lilac10 says:

    I also make my daughters choose a toy and then secretly take a back up in my bag for emergency!

  5. Rachael says:

    Yes I am going threw the same thing,it’s driving me crazy,my other son who is 6 wasn’t at all like this,my 3 year old is taking over at the moment we have strops about everything,including plates cups etc,and even down to what car steat he sits in.He had started afternoon Nusrery since September but doesn’t seemed to have settelled down since his brother has gone back to school,he will not do as he is told and thinks he can run off from me. But at Nusery he is quite!!!😁😁😁😁

  6. Della Andrews says:

    Let him choose the plate, no big deal, I think parents get so caught up in making their child obey and listen etc. It doesnt matter if he wants a different plate. My son was like that, because I didnt make it an issue hes over it now.

  7. Rose A says:

    Not a parent but a nanny. The best thing I have found to do in these situations is decide exactly what to do before the situation occurs. So if you’re going to stick to your guns or whatever – know before the tantrums hit. I call it tactical warfare! Sometimes the kids will say they want one thing then change their mind depending on what the other one wants – it would make me mad because each meal they would go through so many bloody plates! Either they want the same thing or they want the opposite and everyday it’s different. At one point they both wanted ‘the red plate’ -duh duh DUUUUH – there was even an actual fight over it. Hitting and pinching. Over. A. Plate. So now they do just get what they’re given, unless they ask me politely “Please may I …” at first this caused tantrums but I told them the more they scream the less likely they are to get a different plate. And it worked. They still fight and tantrum but at least the plate issue has been resolved… For now..

  8. Catherine says:

    This is amazing…I sympathise!! How about ask your toddler their plate choice before putting the toast on any plate? Then you aren’t giving in but respecting his view up front? My boy is 2 & loves making choices…colour of his cup / which end of the sofa to sit on / which side of the car to climb in…makes him feel empowered!! Plus he often forgets if he actually wanted to do the thing in the first place, he is so consumed by the choice he is making! And how about get him a bag for his toys that is all his – my boy loves keeping his bits in bags & pockets!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s