Nathan’s Mumma says…
Tantrums, oh the joy. Terrible twos, what fun. Biting, kicking, pinching, yelling, smacking, face pulling, pouting…I could go on. All this in one day with my 18 month old son, yes you heard correctly. Nathan started the terrible twos early, and apparently some children never have them at all. Fortunately it’s not all of this every day, it usually is some of it. EVERYDAY. It’s exhausting. And the word ‘no’ seems to have become inaudible to him,
“no, don’t smack mummy”, “no, don’t pull the cat’s tail”, “no, you can’t eat that makeup”.
Alternatives to ‘no’ gratefully received. His current trick is to run from sofa to sofa, climb up, bounce and when I say “no, sit down” he does a very good impression of a trampolinist doing a seatdrop. I confess, I have already had to catch him once when he fell/jumped off the sofa. I didn’t appreciate the kick in the head that accompanied it mind you. Did he learn from this escapade? Did he eck…
So how do you know if it’s the dreaded TT or if they’re just testing out their skills?
- Screeching at the word ‘no’ in a voice loud enough to summon the departed
- Throwing things they’re playing with just because they’re annoyed it won’t do something
- Collapsing in a heap when they’re not allowed to do something (usually to ‘drive’ the car)
- Pouting or pulling a face when they don’t get their own way
- Telling you off for not doing what they want
According to research at the University of Minnesota, tantrums come in 2 groups.
There are many more TT behaviours, and each child is different in what sets them off and how they display it. They are often triggered by one or more of these three categories:
- Physical discomfort (tired, hungry, in pain)
- Emotional overload (fear, stress, boredom, excitement)
- Attention seeking (lack of patience, overstimulated)
SO…..how do you deal with it? Don’t laugh! It just makes them worse. Easy to say, hard to do. They look so funny pulling faces and sticking out their bottom lip. In our family we ignore him. We sit him on the floor and ignore him. It lasts only a few seconds of him wailing in protest before he gets bored and moves on. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll do something else soon enough but we take each instance of bad behaviour at a time.
- Ignore the behaviour, no eye contact
- Remove your child from the situation if necessary
- Give positive attention when they’re good
- Distract them during a mild tantrum
- DO NOT GIVE IN TO THEIR DEMANDS
(PLEASE note that the bullet point advice is taken from experts in child behaviour, its by no means my secret solution to TT)
There are some great website out there to give you more advice than just my experience, we liked:
Books are also a great resource on this topic, especially:
(All available through www.amazon.co.uk)
And all the time remember…it won’t last forever. I hope 😉