Drama kings and queens
A COUPLE of weeks ago, I was invited to be on national television to talk about children who like to dramatise anything and everything. These children are known as drama queens and kings.
I came across a definition by one parenting expert and psychotherapist, Alyson Schafer. She said: “A drama queen is usually a child who uses his or her emotion to manipulate and whose emotional reactions are disproportionate in intensity to this situation.”
These children know how to use their emotions to manipulate and exaggerate. They are known to use this in almost any situation, big or small, from not wanting to eat vegetables to trying to avoid going to school.
One of her studies showed a very interesting statistic. Previously, it was thought that only girls had a strong tendency to display this emotional manipulation but Schafer found out that this was not true. In fact, there is a 50-50 chance that boys and girls will behave in this way, given the right situation.
In her analysis, Schafer also found four reasons why children and adults throw tantrums and dramatise their emotions. These are to seek attention, display their power, exert revenge and to avoid doing something.
The first one is the most common. We see people dramatise their situations because it gets people to look their way. Parents will be familiar with this situation. Many children cry and yell to get their parents’ attention.
The second reason is true for children who always get what they want with parents who tend to give in just to calm the situation. Over time, they feel powerful and use their emotions to get what they want.
In the third scenario, children who don’t get what they want or are punished use their emotions to amplify small issues. This can be very traumatic to parents as they often don’t understand why their children are behaving this way.
The fourth reason is about avoiding something. For example, when children don’t want to eat their vegetables or take a bath, they will fake being sick to avoid doing what they are supposed to do.
All these can be a nightmare to parents who don’t know what’s going on. As smarter parents, we should be able to recognise the reasons why they throw a tantrum. Once we are able to recognise the true situation, we should be able to make a more rational decision in a fairer way. As parents, this is just one of our many challenges.