Tantrums Up 240%, Beatings Up Only 38%


The summer brings warmer weather, more sun, late nights, and of course, children getting all out of sorts. During the school year, kids have a very set schedule. They go to bed at a certain time, wake up at a certain time, have a regular regiment at school, and then go to their after-school activities. When summer comes, parents allow kids to stay up later and kids are then going to an exhausting day camp, followed by a late afternoon at the pool. All of this wears kids down, and essentially causes crabbiness and tantrums.

“Children, just like adults, get tired and then get moody,” says child psychologist Dr. Jeremy Mattison. “But unlike most adults, children feel the only way to express this exhaustion is through throwing a fit or tantrum.” Dr. Mattison says that there is only one way to stop these tantrums and that is by disciplining them. “Too many times parents are afraid to discipline their children when they throw a fit,” says Dr. Mattison. “The truth is, the only way for kids to learn is through a good whooping.”

All over Stapleton, residents have seen and mostly heard the increase in disobedient children. “My neighbor’s kids are normally really good,” says North Central Park resident Robert Closson. “But lately I have heard them screaming at the top of their lungs and crying for no apparent reason. If I hear any more, I am thinking about going over there and disciplining them myself.”

According to Mattison, the key to keeping tantrums to a minimum in a neighborhood is to keep the tantrum to “beating” ratio at about one to one. “When you get to an area where there are considerably more tantrums than beatings, you have a problem. Conversely, you don’t want beatings much higher than tantrums either. So, there’s a balance.”

Stapleton parents may be a little on edge due to recent events and could be worried about getting reported to the local news affiliate for lightly spanking their child. Mattison says that parents should not be concerned. “Colorado has pretty relaxed laws when it comes to child discipline. It would take a lot more than a light swat on the butt to get authorities out there.”

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