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Macaroni and Cheese - Stay Listening

A friend of mine had asked about how HiH would approach tantrums with their 3 y old son. A very sweet boy who is friends with my daughter of the same age. They said they had tried time out and trying to reason with him but found themselves getting more and more frustrated with his determination not to comply with expectations and his strong emotional response which they experienced as pressure to get his way. I had outlined and suggested play listening and stay listening to them and asked them some questions on the feelings that had come up for them in these situations. For Stay Listening I had said something like: Just try to let him express his frustration and stay with him in a supportive manner. As we met for a playdate my friend expressed her amazement about a situation they had at dinner time. They had prepared macaroni and tomato sauce. However he wanted macaroni and cheese. They explained that they did not have cheese sauce today. He refused to eat, demanded cheese and started to yell and scream.The mom decided to give stay listening a try. She stayed with him on the floor, simply sitting next to him and hearing him out. She stopped explaining, demanding etc. She just sat next to him as he continued to rage for about 5 minutes. Then he suddenly stopped, looked at her and said: Next time I want cheese sauce, ok? She said ok, next time we can make cheese sauce. He got up, sat at the table and ate his dinner without any further complaints. I was sooo happy for them. Smart Parents!

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