Imagine a situation when you are at a mall and your little one throws a fit out of nowhere? Sound familiar? Yes indeed, a temper tantrum is an inevitable part of childhood! It's a natural occurrence. The only thing you need to do is stay calm and try to understand why. It's not all about temper always. Mostly it is because she is tired, hungry, frustrated or even over stimulated!
Let us try to understand what exactly happens when a child throws a tantrum. They may stomp their feet, yell and scream, throw things around even kick or bite!! If you could peep into your kids mind, you could say it's emotionally equivalent to Mount Vesuvius erupting, too much chaos! An emotional chaos! It is natural and easy for you as a parent to lose cool. Welcome to the "Terrible Two " phase!
Tantrums can begin as early 12 months, mostly continue till age 4 and is at its peak at age 2-3. Hence the term Terrible Twos! It's understandable how you might dread your little one throwing a fit in the middle of the road! They mostly do it because they know; you will end up giving them what they want in order to avoid a scene! When your little one throws a tantrum, the key is to maintain your cool and not give in!
As the old adage goes “Prevention is better than cure “so let us see how you can prevent a tantrum before it erupts!
Avoid the situation where there is a likelihood of a tantrum to erupt! For example, if you are at a departmental store, avoid the candies and cookies aisle!!
Try to reason with your little one. More often than not the cause of the tantrum is not mere manipulation; it's just hunger or fear.
Distraction can come in handy! When you sense a temper tantrum try to talk it away. Your little one can be easily distracted at this age!
Negotiate! A stark no can be an ideal trigger to her tantrums. So if she insists on 60 min of TV time you negotiate and bring it down to a 30!
We need to understand that tantrums can be due to reasons as simple as lack of rest or even a major change in the child's daily routine!
Do's and Don'ts when you are in the middle of a temper tantrum.
Prevention aside, tantrums never have a scheduled time! So you should always be ready with plan B. Do NOT lose your cool. Do understand that the child is not making your life stressful on purpose. Talk to her; know the root cause of the tantrum. It's a lot deeper than just the insatiable need for candy!
Encourage good behaviour in public. Incentives will prompt them to behave well. Their minds will automatically program around the fact that I behave well outside, I get goodies from Mommy!
Spanking is never the solution. That is as good as giving in. But there is a likelihood that it might only worsen the situation or even worse ....the child's self esteem may take a hit.
Don't laugh at your tot when she throws a fit. Humour is good but keeps it light.
Isolate your tot if necessary. Not all kids are alike. Some kids need their lonesome time to calm down.
Do not care if people in a public place are eyeing you for your child's behaviour. Remember no person who has been a parent will mind your tot's behaviour! Every parent has to go through this. If they mind then it means they have never been a parent!
Irrespective of the child's behaviour, always remember that it is your responsibility as a parent to teach your child to channelize these emotions. The very reason she throws a fit is because she cannot manage the flux of emotion she faces!
Turning a deaf ear to tantrums can also do the trick. Well not literally! You just pretend to not care, to send the message across to your little one. You can let her know that screaming loudly will not get them what they want. Once she knows that you won't budge, she will give in. Once she calms down, you can then swoop in, have a one on one conversation and give her lots of huggies!
Never make her feel it's her fault. Cause lets face it...its not! Its a phase…part and parcel of development which every child goes through.
Never engage while she throws a tantrum. Its is not required for you to be with her every step of the way. She can manage few things on her own. Let her calm down
We should always remember that we parents are the adults and that the tiny tots are merely doing what they are expected to do. Also it is not your fault either, you are doing nothing wrong. There could be moments when you might feel that you are not giving your child enough attention because of which she acts out! Nope ... again not the case!
Follow the thumb rule of parenting ... Stay calm, don't stress out and you are GOLDEN!