One of the best things about being a parent is celebrating your child’s milestones–their first word, first tooth, first steps, even their first trip to the potty. Yes you, a rational adult will jump for joy all the while singing “You poo poo in the potty!” Really, it’s what being a parent is all about. But with good milestones comes the not so good in the form of tantrums. Tantrums are your child’s way of saying “No, I don’t like this very much” in the loudest way possible.
I speak from experience, my own 17 month old has catapulted into the “terrible two’s” a tad too early. And while I’m happy she’s learning to express her likes and dislikes, I’m looking for a happy medium where every “no!” doesn’t turn to tears. So I asked my group of mom friends for advice and here’s what they had to offer:
Consistency is Key.
The one thing that resonated with all the moms that I spoke with was being consistent. Of course, the last thing you want to do is see your child unhappy and It’s easy to want to give in to their demands, but if it’s no once it has to be no every single time. When you’re consistent you help your child to learn what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable in terms of discipline.
Though it may seem like it goes on forever this phase in your child’s development doesn’t last very long so be patient! Your mood will ultimately determine the mood and reaction of your toddler. So deep breaths, count to ten, and even a little toddler TLC will go a long way.
I’m addicted to parenting magazines/books and the one thing that they all stress is the importance of communication at an early age. Even if your child’s vocabulary only consists of a few words (like no, and no) they understand more then you know. When a tantrum strikes help them to identify their feelings, let them know that it is okay to be upset, but these are the rules. They may not get it at first, but you’re planting the seed for expression without aggression.
My friend Nydia has one of my favorite tantrum related stories. When her son was a toddler he loved taking taxis. One day they were only a few blocks away from their destination when he insisted they take a taxi, when she said no he threw himself on the ground kicking and screaming. What did she do? She threw herself on the ground too! He was so embarrassed he made a deal to never do it again. While this is a somewhat non-conventional version of a comprise, it proved to be very effective. A compromise shows you respect their feelings and that’s really all that they want.
What are some of your tantrum survival stories? What techniques do you use to keep the peace? Share in the comments below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caprece Cotton-Sturdivant is a writer and new mommie who loves to share comedic tales of what she’s learned so far about being a mom. She resides in New York City with her husband and daughter who are her inspirations. Follow her blog here.