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 especially when no one understands the reason behind it. Since they have not developed their language skills yet, it can be challenging for them to get their point across. That’s why it is important for the parents to identify the problem. The common reasons for child tantrums could be as simple as hunger, fatigue, or frustration. Or, in certain cases, it can also happen due to underlying communication challenges like difficulty in framing phrases and expressing themselves. Whatever the reason is, once you identify the problem, you can start working on the solution. For example, to help them overcome communication difficulties, you can consult with a professional from this foundation, who can assist the child to produce sounds correctly and work on their vocabulary development. Similarly, to manage simple problems, you can observe them patiently, take them to a pediatrician if required, and provide them with the necessary help.
In short it is quite simple; observe them, and once you identify what the problem is, make them feel acknowledged, and try to keep them calmer until you 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.