Wednesday, March 14, 2012

React to tantrums

Before we react as moms/dads/grandparents etc, it is important to think first. When your toddler pushes down the baby, or throws a toy, or has a tantrum...try as hard as you can to not react.

Try instead taking a deep breath, going over the to the 'tantrum' child and pick him up, give him a hug, ask what is wrong, pick up the baby who was pushed, have them sit on your lap together. Talk about how the baby must feel and how the toddler feels.

Ask your toddler, how do we touch babies? That's right gentle, show me gentle. "What would baby like right now to feel better?" That's right, a hug. "Let's say sorry."

I know it is hard, cause I struggle with it. It's hard not to shout NO from the other side of the room. It's hard not to say STOP IT! and grab your toddler roughly. It's hard not to spank, hit or shame your child with words when you are worried, upset, angry or shocked.

What will this do for your child?

Shaming and yelling at your child will shock and scare them. They don't quite get what they did as being really bad. They may have reacted out of an emotion such as frustration, anger, jealousy, or fear. We don't always know. Maybe they just do things to see 'what will happen.'

When we add more fear, frustration and anger to the situation, it doesn't teach them anything. There can only be one baby having a tantrum in the house. There can be only one toddler between the adult and child. Someone must be the teacher.

When instead, you hug your child, scoop them up in your arms and say, "Hey, what's wrong?" "How can I help?" "We can't push babies, let's go play with your train set etc" When you teach them, gentle touching, and the 'rules' of the home. You are setting an example of how to be with others in the home. Isn't it far better to be firm, kind and consistent with our toddlers when they 'act out' than if we joined them by acting out ourselves?

Remember... redirect, distract and teach consistently in a calm manner...

I write this to remind myself to stay the course each and every day.

Hope it helped you as well.

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