How to deal with Tantrums – Some children are definitely born with more fire in their bellies than others and others are definitely more sensitive, impatient or express themselves with more flare and drama. Combine this with a caveman mentality and you can witness some truly awesome tantrums from your little guy. I do believe it’s better out than in, but I have also learned that there are different techniques that can work to prevent or dilute these gigantic outbursts of frustration.
If you know a situation that will set off your little baller you can help soften the blow with a pre-emptive strike (explanation or warning system). Children are very much in the now; it is the great beauty of being two. However, they have the reasoning to accept when something is coming up. Before you go on a play date/party/any fun outing let your child know while driving to the destination that after a few hours you will have to return home. Let them know that 10 minutes before you leave you are going to let them know so they can prepare (emotionally) for the departure. Near the end of the play date let them know, “10 more minutes to go”, then a few minutes later, “ 5 more minutes…2 more minutes” and then, “one more minute” and then eventually, “let’s go”. This approach generally works a lot better than springing on, “Let’s go” with out any warning.
Compassion, Understanding & Compromise
So you randomly went to the store and your child sees the ice cream and she wants it NOW. Instead of just saying no and having her head explode because she really wants it and doesn’t know why you are denying her. Get down to level and say, “I understand why you would like to eat the ice cream. It is yummy but now is not the right time we are having dinner when we get home. If you can calm down, and I can help you if you need me, I am listening to you and understand you want some ice cream. (Repetition works well here). I love you. I have a solution that may work better for everyone. We can buy some frozen yogurt, you can choose the flavor, and we can take it home and have it for desert one night during the week.”
Snack time & Napping
Snacking mid morning and mid afternoon may also prevent unwanted outbursts. A tired toddler with low sugar levels, (hasn’t eaten for more than two hours), may wig out way more easily. Just like adults, toddlers can get cranky when hungry and or tired. Naps are important to reduce meltdowns. Napping is much easier if you can get their body clocks on a napping routine or have the car ride that lulls them to sleep and transferring down.
Is it your birthday? Is it Christmas? Is it Easter?
Never underestimate the power of Logic. Going into a store can be a nightmare with little children especially a store that sells toys. If you have randomly bought your child a toy off the shelf when they have asked for it, this technique may not work; toddlers have incredible memories. But if you haven’t burnt that bridge you ask the logical question, “Is it your birthday? Is it Christmas? Is it Easter?” You create their world and the sense they have of it. If your children understand that these are the only times they get gifts then it makes perfect sense that they can’t get it now. You could also mention how when you get home you will write it down with them so when the next celebratory day comes up you will know exactly what they want. This will make them feel that you are listening to their needs and not totally dissin’ them.
Image Credit: Amanda Farmer