|How to Stop a Toddler Tantrum||| Print ||
|Written by Kim Droze|
|Monday, 24 May 2010 15:05|
Perhaps the most infuriating stage of parenthood is when your child reaches the time when tantrums seem to be his only means of expression. In the "terrible twos" - or threes, fours and beyond - these full-on freakouts might happen seemingly at the drop of a hat, but there are ways to deal with them and even prevent them before they happen. First, note your child's "triggers" - hunger, pain and exhaustion can make intelligent adults gibbering idiots, so imagine how your child, whose means of communication are limited at best, is affected when faced with adversity. Some meltdowns can be prevented simply by avoiding activities like running errands, eating at a restaurant or simply being overstimulated when it's meal or naptime. Save that grocery store trip until after nap if you can; likewise, that playdate can wait until after lunch, right? A major tantrum trigger is the fact that while young children might understand language, they still lack the skills to communicate effectively themselves. So frustration mounts when the child can't make his or her needs known, and an explosion ensues. Look for cues that the child is getting frustrated - hitting, whining, grumbling, pouting, etc. - and address the child's concerns.
Sometimes all it takes to turn that frown upside down is the parent's attitude adjustment. Your child can sense when you're unhappy, and if you put on a big smile - even if you don't feel like smiling - you may avert that tantrum. Choose your battles. An independent 2-year-old who chooses her own clothes may cross into tantrum territory when you insist on the white shoes instead of the pink shoes that she wants to wear. If mismatched shoes mean avoiding a meltdown, let her. However, if your child is fighting being seated in his carseat, this is a "biggie" - meaning you need to stand your ground. Regardless of why a tantrum is happening, how you handle it can decide its duration. Putting on a happy face helps, and staying put while the child blows up is important, although it is tempting to just leave the room and ignore the behavior. Showing the child that you support him can help validate his emotions and help him feel less scared and frustrated.
|Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 09:47|