Monday, December 05, 2011

Letter to NPR

Dear NPR,

Thank you so much for your informative piece on a scientific study of temper tantrums. It fascinated me to learn (after 20 years of parenting) that children have tantrums because they are angry and unhappy.  What's more, your piece informed me that you can't reason with a child having a tantrum.  Imagine that!  You could have knocked me over with a feather on that one.  I am glad to see that our research dollars are being well-spent on studies such as these rather than wasted on searching for silly cures for cancer.

I am hoping you will air more studies of equal value to your listeners.  Might I suggest a few titles for future scientific research segments?

Teenage Years:  Not the Age of Reason

Money, in Fact, Does NOT Grow on Trees

Women Prefer To Hear That They Do Not Look Fat

Thank you again for your commitment to bringing cutting-edge science to the masses.


Faithful Listener


  1. At least once a week, I see a story in the news (online counts, right?) telling us something that anyone with the common sense of a duck already knows. *sigh*
    I guess it must be newsworthy to someone.

    My husband's favorite way to deal with temper tantrums (including those of complete strangers) is to tell the child he/she isn't doing it right, kick harder, pound your fists, etc. Gets 'em every time. :)

  2. Our local news station did a whole segment on this study, something about the tantrum being in three stages, #1 the child screams #2 the child hits and throws things, #3 the child cries.
    They also said that a tantruming child takes their cues from the parent, so if you yell they will too.
    Where were these people when I had a 2 year old throw a 2 hour (I kid you not, we timed it) tantrum when my inlaws were visiting?

    I have to wonder if any of these "experts" actually have children or their own. Or if they have ever seen actual real children.

    And seriously, money doesn't grow on trees???

  3. Good heavens! Really? I'm feeling wiser (and more scientific) by the second.

  4. @Jillybean - Yes, I heard it, too. I threw my own little tantrum at the radio. My husband, being an experienced parent, did not intervene.

  5. #3 child spent more years of his early childhood sitting on the back stairs waiting for the tantrum to die down than I would have ever felt possible. My rule was, for him and him only, when you stop crying, you can get up. All the other siblings learned they could stop crying immediately and resume playing. Not this one. He'd cry and scream for long periods of time. He got so used to being on the stairs that I have been known to forget he was there. An hour later, I'd walk by and he was still sitting there, now quiet. "You can get up now.", I'd say...feeling ever so guilty about forgetting he had been sent there. :-)

  6. Oh my favorite one lately? That there is a difference between how Mothers and Fathers who work outside the home multitask when they get home. Basically it said 'Moms multitask more, and multitask home and work things, and men? Mostly just multitask at work" . i was laughing so hard I almost had to pull over.

  7. Navhelowife, YES, I saw that one, too. I laughed so hard I posted it on FB so all my friends could laugh, too. This one is right up there with that. Next time my kid flips her lid and decides she's going to try to injure me, I'll be sure to let the folks at NPR know so they can provide their "expert" advice on what to do next :p

  8. Oooh--here's more: Consuming More Calories Leads to Weight Gain, Men Think About Sex and Money More Than Doing Chores, Chocolate Tastes Good and Makes People Feel Happy.

  9. Of course, I did like the NPR commentator who basically admitted "this study isn't really going to come as a shock to most working mothers....
    And of course, NPR doesn't fund the studies, just tells about them. It does, however beat the heck out of having to listen about the latest starlet or fake starlet's marriage imploding!

  10. Russians say in cases like these: It is better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick. Maybe they should make a study about that too...

  11. Maybe as a reminder, to newbie parents?

    [ducks to avoid flying tantrums]

    Or, they coulda just asked us, I'm just sayin'!