Toddler tantrums are a gift - especially to the Christian parent. Find out why in this post. |

Toddler Tantrums are a Gift

Toddler tantrums are a gift - especially to the Christian parent. Find out why in this post. |

Training children in the way they should go is a difficult, and often mind boggling task. While I struggle to preach the gospel to myself everyday, I’m tasked with extending grace to my children and teaching and helping to expose their need for our wonderful Savior.

There are so many days where I feel like I can do nothing right and there is simply no fruit on the vine, and never will be.

While standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, the earth shattered with the screams of a toddler throwing a tantrum for all the public to hear.

I’m pretty sure the people at the bank across the street could hear him screaming, “I want apple. I want apple. Waaaaaaaa!!!!” at the top of his God-given lungs.

Like every mom, I wanted to crawl in a hole. There was nothing I could do. Not then, not in that moment.

At home it’s easier to deal with enormous temper tantrums, but in the middle of his crocodile tears and screaming pleas for an apple with three other people waiting in line behind me? Not a chance.

I got knowing looks from other moms and the look from grandmaw on aisle 3, but I just smiled, paid my bill, and rolled us out into the parking lot.

I’m so grateful my toddler acts out because it allows us to really see his heart.

He doesn’t pretend; he’s just him, sin-stained heart and all.

We talk about patience, and we talk about happy hearts until I’m blue in the face. We administer discipline and the knees of my jeans are worn from kneeling before him (and Him) in exhaustion. And as hard as it is to rinse and repeat every day, I’m grateful because if he was a rule following child, I wouldn’t know his inner battles – not as easily. I wouldn’t be able to see what I needed to work with him on. I’d constantly be guessing, drawing him out, and wondering if he’s truly being affected by the Gospel.

Today I challenge you to see your toddler’s tantrum as a gift. Because these kids we talk about giving us a run for our money? We have it easy.ย  I’d put my money on the Pharisee kid being much harder because I’m prone to laziness, and I doubt I’d be so diligent to draw my rule following kid out…or too busy writing books or baking stuff from scratch. Why should I? He acts just fine.

I’m slowly learning (even when I’m crying and begging for just five minutes) that to see my son’s sin on display is truly a gift from God. A gift for my parenting, but also a gift for my heart.

Being a parent isn’t meant to produce godly children, but it can help produce godly parents.

Have you ever thought about toddler tantrums this way? Share you thoughts in the comments!

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  1. You know my kids are adopted, I think? Well, my 7 year old has had a total of 2 tantrums in her life. Ever. Because she hasn’t been brave enough to show us her heart yet because she rarely feels that safe. My husband and I were cheering the first time because it is a big step. Then she did it a second time and that was another blessing and one day she will be safe enough, God willing, to do it again.
    My son has about a billion tantrums a day and sometimes even he doesn’t know what he wants. I thank God everytime (even if it is not exactly in the moment cos sometimes I am being driven to distraction). I know he feels safe enough to scream the house down or in the trolley at the shop or wherever we may be. He KNOWS he will be fine and loved and accepted.
    So, I applaud this post because it isn’t really until you live with a child that is terrified of making a fuss or a mistake that you see what a gift a tantrum is. Embrace the tantrums and ignore the mad old ladies that think you are a terrible parent for not giving them what they want exactly when they want it. I bet they didn’t for their own kids anyway. Why is there is always one of those present? You also have them in the states? I think I thought it was a British stiff upper lip thing! Do they have a rota? Gina x

  2. LeighAnn this is the post I have needed for so long!! I end my days in pure frustration from battling with my son everyday over every. single. thing. I have never thought of it the way you put it- that he is revealing his heart and it’s “easier” to address heart issues.

    PS- congrats on having a kid that throws a fit over having an apple! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Who wrote the book you mentioned? Ive a 2 year old boy and the tantrums can be epic and I’m struggling to cope.

  3. I’m having a hard time seeing a little child’s tantrum as a ‘sin’. However you see it, I’m happy you are having patience with it. All kids do some tantrum time. I taught my children that if they asked nicely, they ‘might’ get what they wanted, but if they demanded/cried/screamed/begged etc, they definitely would NOT get what they were asking for. I’d even show them what I wanted (This is how you ask politely) and we’d sometimes practice it a bit. Small children want to be successful, but w have to show them what we want them to do, and then we have to praise them when they do it (even trying gets some praise). Isn’t that how God deals with us? He tells us how He wants us to live, even sent His Son to show us the example, and to pay the price for our mistakes, and then He is patient with out ‘tantrums’ and our messes, and keeps blessing us whenever we get it right. Keep hanging in there – tantrums are temporary.

  4. Holding on to this one…i have a three year old who leaves it all on the floor. Literally. ๐Ÿ˜‰