Sitting in a restaurant with my 1 year old boy, saw a family battling vainly with their little boy to make him quiet. The whole restaurant was watching and the father started yelling at the mother for not being able to control the situation. Still could vividly remember the mother’s face, with tears pooling and her head bowed down in shame.
My exact thoughts at that time were, Never will I let my son do this to me” and
LO !!!!! what happened !!!
My son’s tantrums were even more worse and unmanageable.
I searched ways to manage his outbursts and discovered quite a few, which are discussed in this article.
It is normal for a toddler to have temper tantrums. They happen mostly between age 1 and 3.
As a parent we can reduce the frequency, intensity and duration, but not completely eliminate them.
So let’s explore the
A,B,C…. of taming temper tantrums
1. Avoid Instant Gratification
In public, toddlers throw tantrums when they are denied things they want. Most of the parents give in to pacify the toddler and the child knows that his tactic worked.
Tantrums will continue if they know that the parents will cave in.
“Simply tell them NO and move on”
I know it is easy to write on paper, but difficult to implement, especially when there is a meltdown in public.
But stand firm a couple of times ignoring the public humiliation, then the child will know that the mother will not give in to his demands.
“Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself” – Saint Francis De Sales
Be patient,don’t blow your calm.
Shouting and yelling do not achieve anything, it may explode the situation to a worst scenario. With a calm but firm voice discipline your toddler “How to behave” and try to settle him down.
3.Carry his favorite snack or drink
If you are planning an outing or shopping for longer hours, carry with you your toddler’s favorite snack or drink. When you anticipate the tantrum is about to begin, give them the food or drink and settle them down comfortably with their meal. Please note, carry healthy snacks, not junk foods which do more harm than good for your kids.
Exit from the place, or give him a safe toy, or play his favorite game. Remove him from the source of tantrum gently yet firmly.
From past experiences, evaluate what situation or incident precipitates the tantrums. Make a list of those and try to prevent exposing the child to such situations.
6. Find the Right time
Run errands, do shopping or outing in the right time. After experimenting, you will be able to figure out the right time of the day when your toddler is at his best behavior. It may be mornings (fresh and alert), or after naps (rested and somber) or in evenings. (energetic)
7. Good Behavior begins at home
Lay your groundwork at home. When signs of tantrum emerge at home, decide how are you going to deal with the situation either by time out or chair out. Practice the same when it happens in public also, so that your toddler will know the consequences of his misbehavior.
8.Honor Good Behavior
When your toddler is at his good moments, praise him for his good behavior and commend about his good qualities to friends and relatives. This will instill a feeling of pride in him and will motivate him to behave up to the mark always.
This works out best at home. Just ignore them and go on about your work. Let them kick, cry shout, whatever as long as they don’t hurt themselves, don’t respond. After a few tries they will become tired and settle down eventually.
10. Judge your toddler’s temperament
Each child has an unique temperament of their own, so don’t push them too much. Understand how much is your toddler’s tolerance level and try to discipline him well within the limit.Remember each child is different, find which trough suits and try to stick to it.
We all fall prey to the terrible two’s and horrific three’s , so don’t worry.
Keep your cool……ALL THE BEST MOMMIES and DADDIES
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Please note I have used the male gender sense throughout this article in reference to my son, it is not that girls don’t have temper. I have an infant daughter who is yet to show me the tantrums of little girls!!!
photo credit: Tex Batmart via photopin