I’m happily writing from the coziness of my home on a weekday. School was cancelled for H and I today. Despite the cancellation, I still got up at regular time to enjoy some yoga, coffee, and pinterest before the entertainment got up aka Holden. He didn’t know what to make of the snow, but our dog, Roscoe, certainly knew that he didn’t like it! He was back inside after a quick bathroom break. Holden decided that he should just stay out all DAY! This eventually resulted in a bit of a temper tantrum (again! Terrible Two’s anyone?). This led me to do some investigating about how to prevent, manage, and work with Holden when these little trying events happen. I hit up Google aka everyone’s source to see what was out there on the web. The Super Nanny website really broke it down for me.
For a minor episode…
- Ignoring and continuing with your day
- Use calming techniques to lower your own stress levels – deep breathing, relaxing your muscles, positive talk inside your head: ‘I will keep calm’.
- Be cheerful! Say something like, ‘Time to stop now – I’ll count to 10’, then give plenty of praise and cuddles if the tantrum stops.
For a really major tantrum, different tactics are needed…
- Hold your child tightly, preferably making eye contact.
- ‘Time out’ can help if you find it impossible to stay calm. Time out involves putting your child somewhere safe but boring (for example a playpen, pushchair or the bottom step) for a couple of minutes. It should never be forced in anger and is not really understood by under 3’s. It may work best for parents to take it themselves! – I disagree with this statement as Holden very much understands time out.
Top Tips for Cutting Down Tantrums
- Show a good example by remaining calm when times are stressful. This encourages your toddler to do the same. – So hard for me!
- Cut down negatives – constantly saying ‘No’ will add to a toddler’s frustration. Instead, use phrases like ‘later’, or ‘after lunch’.
- Keep aware of new stresses (potty training, starting nursery) that may need more sympathy.
- Respect your child’s feelings. Feeling understood will reduce your child’s need for tantrums. Try saying, ‘I know that makes you mad’ or ‘That must have made you feel sad’. Your child will see that their feelings matter and can gradually learn to put them into words, saying “I’m angry” instead of acting it out.
- Use positive parenting – plenty of praise and attention for behaviour you do want, trying to ignore as much as possible behaviour you don’t. – I’m not all for this one. We do praise Holden but try not to go over board with it. For example, he’s good at cleaning up, so I won’t give him praise for every step in the process, just at the end.
- Avoid harsh discipline – shouting and punishments only make tantrums worse. – Again, so hard for me to remain calm and not raise my voice!!!!
- Use humour to defuse tricky situations – silly songs, laughter, making a game of tidying toys can all work brilliantly! A hug or a tickle at the right moment can also change a child’s mood.
- Most children do grow out of the need for tantrums when they have more language and understanding. But the way you deal with them in the toddler years is important. If they are handled harshly, with responses like yelling and smacking, or if you constantly ignore their feelings and need for comfort, they may well become worse and carry on for longer.
See here for original article. I did edit a bit and add a bit.
In other news, this snow was Holden’s first experience. Required pictures follow…
He really loved it! Just walking around in it and being outside is always high on H’s priority list. Seriously, I think he is destined to be the next wilderness man. This child NEVER wants to come in. No matter the temperature, hot or cold. He would seriously stay out in stormy/rainy weather. He does take after his mom and dad, but especially his dad. I’m ready to head back in after about ten minutes of cold weather. Heat, I can take any day of the week. I’d much rather run for an hour in a humid 80-some degrees than 50 or even 60 degrees.
What is your favorite season?
Favorite snow day activities?