The American dream of buying a house, having a family, and watching your darling well-behaved children grow up to be doctors and Nobel Peace Prize winners doesn’t always play out the way we expect it to. When adorable babies suddenly become toddlers and have opinions (lots of them) and protest just about everything all without a word of English, you start to realize that you may be in for more than what you anticipated.
When these little dictators throw tantrums it can be enough to make a parent so stressed that they’re ready to do anything just to get it to stop. Hand them a cookie, let them watch Jaws, buy them any toy in the store, whatever it takes, just “Please stop crying!” Unfortunately, caving in and failing to show your child was proper discipline is and what the expectations are will only lead to them being little cavemen later in life. Handling your toddler’s tantrums doesn’t have to be them winning every time just because they’re less embarrassed than you to yell in public. Here are the best tips during these tough moments.
Explain The Circumstances / Rules Before The Tantrum Begins
Many parents wait for the tantrum to begin before they start explaining the circumstances. As their children are rolling around on the floor in hysterics they try to be heard over the yelps by calming informing them that just because Mommy is drinking Coca-Cola doesn’t mean that they get to, or whatever sort of thing they happen to be protesting.
Instead, as you reveal the Coca-Cola that you’re about to drink, you explain that this is for Mommy and is not suitable for young children. However, they are welcome to this juice that you have prepared for them. Even if they protest a bit, staying firm and consistent will make it much less dramatic than if you had explained the rules after you were enjoying the cool refreshing taste of Coke.
Identify The Problem
Nothing makes a toddler feel more helpless and frustrated during a tantrum than when no one understands why they’re angry. Since they don’t have all of their language skills yet, it can be challenging for them to get their point across.
Once you identify what the problem is, and they feel acknowledged, they will be much calmer and you can start working on a solution.
Even though you may be tempted to start banging your chest gorilla style and want to tear your hair out, you should always remain calm during these episodes.
Setting the tone and example will make them much more emotionally balanced adults later in life. Getting upset and riled up along with them is only going to create a recipe for a volatile situation. Remember, only one of you is allowed to be the child.