Toddler tantrums can be very hard to handle for parents! They start from sometime around 18 months or so & usually go on till 3-4 years of age. Also called as terrible 2’s, these little beings are famous for doing random things at random times with no reasoning in most cases. They cry, complain, scream, hit, kick, throw stuff and what not, and we adults are sometimes clueless to what they are up to. We lose our calm sometimes, do something which we ourselves regret later. I have not seen any parent who has not had his/her big share of toddler tantrums!
The K Junction in association with Cedarwood Afterschool Program, recently conducted a workshop for parents on Handling Toddler Tantrums. It was very well received & the parents went back with lots of pointers & homework to do on how they can cope up with the situation in a better way.
Sharing some of the content of this workshop so that my readers here can also use it to their benefit. Of course there is nothing like discussing everything in person & elaborating the bullet points in details but still, this could be a starting point if you are looking for some answers in handling the situation at your end.
What Causes A Tantrum
- Communication needs
- Battle for control
- They are having a hard time & seeking our help
- To seek attention
- Reflection of parents/caregivers
- Incorrect expectation from parents
Toddler Brain Demystified
Toddler’s Neocortex, thinking part of the brain, that does higher order thinking, is NOT developed fully & it’s development continues through the mid 20s. Functions of Neocortex include
- Self awareness
- Logic & reasoning
- Ability to control impulses
- Understanding consequences
- Problem solving
- Understanding & interpreting emotions
Handling Tantrums – What Does Not Work
- Leave them crying for some time
- Ask them to stop crying/whining
- Explain/criticize what wrong they did
- Explaining consequences
- Ask them to apologize
- Become embarrassed yourself
Handling Tantrums – What Works
- Understand the reason
- Acknowledge the big feeling & let them cry assuring you are there for them
- Give a tight hug
- Keep calm & use calm voice
- Unconditional love
Talk It Out Gently!
To conclude let us understand that
- When they are throwing a tantrum, they are not giving us hard time, they are having a hard time!
- Give them appropriate control in daily lives, set a routine, understand their needs, avoid tantrum provoking situations & give unconditional love
- Our kids require us most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend our whole time trying to correct them
And I end this article with some brilliant quotes that we parents need to be reminded frequently 🙂