My Little girl is now about two and a half years old, so that means she’s right in the middle of the tantrum mania zone. I love and hate this age at the same time. Sure, hate is a strong word, but it sure is annoying.
It’s such a crazy thing, these tantrum outbursts. One moment they’re all cute and cuddly and barely a second later, have they turned into little monsters. But that’s not all, the most fun part is that fact that it can happen EVERYWHERE.
Super Market Tantrum
Last week I was at the super market with my daughter, she was sitting in the shopping cart quietly eating her cookies. It was lovely, but then it happened. Here I was, minding my own business, putting everything I needed in the shopping cart and suddenly, out of nowhere, she started jelling and crying. Why you ask? Well, because one of the things I had put in cart she wanted to hold herself.
The thing is, she didn’t even ask. I know certainly wouldn’t have minded. But here we were. Her, jelling and crying even before she just asked for what she wanted and me staring at her with a look of confusion (and slight despair).
When this happens it’s important to keep yourself as calm as possible. It’s easy to angry, but you don’t improve the situation by getting angry.
A toddler’s tantrum is basically just an emotion. They don’t know how to express themselves yet and they get angry because things aren’t going the way they wanted. Of course it’s not okay to react this way just because they don’t get their way. But at that moment you certainly can’t talk them into being less, uhm, noisy.
I’ve learnt that the best thing is to try to ignore them and let them calm themselves. When they’re all calmed down, you can tell them that it’s not a way they can behave.
Tantrum at home
She always wants to do everything by herself, which is ok for me. She’s getting older and she wants to be a big girl. But when it’s not going well or the way she wants it to go, things start going south. She starts throwing with toys when she’s playing, usually accompanied by a little screech. When she’s eating and something falls of her spoon, she immediately loses her patience’s and starts pouting, and she stops eating.
At home a time-out from time to time really helps, and the beauty of it is that it has an effect that lasts a couple of hours, sometimes even days. When she starts lose it, all I have to do is tell her that is she keeps acting this way she’s getting a time out. Usually, she immediately stops.
When it’s a small outburst I just ignore her like I do in the store, and just keep doing what I’m doing. After a while she often comes for my help. This is the moment I calmly tell her she can just come and ask me when something is not working and she doesn’t has to loss it.
When we’re eating she sometimes throws her spoon away, luckily not her plate with food (not yet anyway, hihi). When she’s calm again, I help her with putting food on the spoon and once again I tell her she can’t lose her temper over this, but just ask for help. If I try and help her when she’s still pouting it doesn’t help, she’s just getting angrier.
Remind yourself, they love you
This is actually important to understand, they only have tantrums with the people they trust and the ones that love them. Yay for us parents right. But it’s true. They try to be independent and that comes with a lot of frustrations and emotions, and they can only express these with the people they trust and love. Aren’t we blessed!