"Daddy's really mad at the car seat," my daughter chimes in.
"He's not mad, guys," I offer. "He's having a mantrum. Stand
back. Everything will be OK."
I step in, grab the troublesome car seat and with one
finger get the strap out that was giving him so much trouble. This takes me all of two seconds. My husband's eyes meet mine. He blushes, knowing he's just made a spectacle of himself. And we never speak of the
That's because my husband has just had a mantrum, which is
the grown man's equivalent of a toddler tantrum. Like a toddler who can't
regulate his emotions, my husband has temporarily lost his marbles all because
he was frustrated with a car seat. One of the first rules of dealing with
your toddler's tantrums is to ignore them and move on. The same can be said for your man's mantrum.
If you've mastered the art of dealing with your kid's tantrums, you're this close to being able to deal with your husband's mantrums.
In fact, there's a whole host of similarities between
mantrums and toddler tantrums. Women may get
accused of being moody, cranky or intense, but we don't lose our cool over a
garden hose that won't recoil, a remote control that won't respond or a car seat that won't be easily installed.
you've mastered the art of dealing with your kid's tantrums, you're this close
to being able to deal with your husband's mantrums. Here are 10 things you need
1. Accept it
If your husband is screaming at the bookshelf
he has to put together from Ikea, he's having a mantrum. If he's cranky and
moody, he's in a bad mood. You should ignore both, but it's important to know
which embarrassing man behavior you're ignoring and why.
Your man will look like
a cartoon character when he has a colossal meltdown over an iPad that won't
charge, but it's important you be supportive by stepping away when you need to
laugh uncontrollably at his behavior.
3.Avoid letting your husband see that you're videotaping his mantrum on your iPhone
He'll figure it out when you put it on Facebook. Hopefully by then, he'll find
it as funny as you do.
4.Help your children to understand what's really going on
Children tend to
internalize things. So make sure they understand that Dad isn't mad at them,
Dad is mad at a hard plastic toy or car seat that can't fight back.
5. Don't tell your husband to calm down
ever calmed down because someone shouted at them to calm down. So instead of telling your man to chill out,
enjoy the fact that he's the one losing his marbles, not you.
6. Don't minimize his frustration
So no, don't ask if he
has his period like he does to you when you freak out.
7.Try to avoid mantrum triggers
man is prone to mantrums, it's probably best to avoid all Ikea purchases,
the parking lot of any Trader Joe's and taking your children to buy shoes.
These are what is professionally known as mantrum triggers, and you want to
avoid them at all costs.
8.Fix the problem
Once you see that your husband has exhausted himself with his mantrum, fix the problem
that has him so frustrated. And no, don't tell him that you knew what to do an
hour ago. Let him think this episode was
Once your husband's blood
sugar level has returned to normal and his mantrum has ended, don't bring it
up. Mantrums, after all, are like Vegas. What happens there, stays there.
but chances are your husband will have another mantrum the next time he has to
make the kid's lunch, braid your daughter's hair or put together a Lego set. But
now that you know what to expect, you'll be better informed. And you'll
remember to walk out of the room before you start laughing out loud.