Hearing the word toddler tantrums can give goosebumps to most parents.
It’s the most frustrating moment of the day when a child is throwing one tantrum after another. In such a situation, as mums, we feel equally helpless and are tempted to give in to toddler demands just so that he/she is calm. But this doesn’t solve the problem. Each time a parent gives in, the child becomes more adamant.
I am not saying that you should be authoritative all the time towards your children. Setting healthy boundaries help parents and children equally. At the same time, it’s important to set aside at least one day in a week when your child is free to do whatever she likes. This way you’ll be able to create a lovely balance.
As mums, we don’t have to be perfect in everything. It doesn’t make us supreme if we are calm on all the days. There are good and bad days. On a good day, a mum has the wherewithal to handle the child in the best way including his/her crankiness. But what do we do on a bad tantrum day? Well, there is no handbook to mommyhood and every child is different yet there are a few points, if kept in mind can help you sail through the tantrums in a composed and collected way.
1. Keep Calm:
First things first, keep calm. Yes, you heard it right. The moment your child sees you losing hold of the situation he or she senses it and can take full advantage of your temperament. Don’t let the little bug know that you are being affected.
Stay calm. The situation will eventually settle down.
2. Don’t give then unwanted attention:
While it’s extremely important to hear your children and address their issues, at the same time bizarre situations need to be managed diligently. For instance, there have been situations when my child is screaming her lungs out with endless tears pouring incessantly. This is when she wants something and I think she has had enough of it. Please, moms, don’t get into an emotional trap. You would be tempted to give up, feel extremely guilty for not listening to your child, even question yourself if you’re a kind mom. But the choice is yours.
If a child gets attention in unwanted situations, chances are that those situations would repeat every now and then. That’s when it becomes even more tedious to handle them.
3. Divert your child’s attention:
This works like magic. As soon as a child starts throwing a tantrum you can divert her attention to a completely different situation. For instance, if during bedtime she wants to watch TV and you know it’s not the right time to watch, take her to the playroom full of toys so that she forgets what she asked for and gets busy playing till she is tired and ready to sleep.
This way you avoid an unwanted discussion and also give the child the satisfaction of getting to bed late.
4. Watch out for long gaps in eating:
At times there are instances when a child has a meltdown without a reason. There is no tangible reason but the child starts misbehaving or not listening to anything. In such a case please check if there’s been a long gap in her eating or drinking water or if she’s tired and needs a nap.
Many a times they can’t express that they are hungry or sleepy and become cranky without a reason. Keep a check on that front. It’ll help you soothe the wailing toddler.
5. Time out:
This works wonders with toddlers. They may look little but they understand time out beautifully. For instance, they are outdoors playing with a set of friends and it’s time to go home because of school the next day. Your toddler is just not willing to return home and wants to play more. You know that a few minutes as grace are comfortable but granting more than that can disrupt his/ her next day’s routine. Time out here would mean that you inform the child 10 minutes prior that you would be leaving. If required, give an extra few minutes later.
Even then if the child demands more, then, without being loud or rude you can start walking towards home. Your child will come running to you because inwardly she realises it.
6. Negotiable or Non Negotiable:
Set healthy boundaries. As a mom, you would know where and when you would need to negotiate with your toddler. Before you get into a tricky situation, set the boundaries for what is negotiable and what’s not. For instance, junk food on a weekday is non-negotiable but you can promise a pizza party over the weekend.
Similarly, staying up late on a weekday is non-negotiable because of school the next day but you can allow them to stay up late with extra screen time on the weekend.
Lastly, I would say these are the precious years.
Toddlerhood is the best time when both parents and children discover each other in many new ways. These are the years that lay the foundation to their overall personality. Keep your calm, laugh out loud with your munchkin, channelise their energy in a constructive way. Give yourself fully to your child and take situations lightly while handling your child in the best way possible.