Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Terrible Twos and Temper Tantrums ~ Tori

All kids go through it. Even the most sane, loving, well behaved child will eventually enter the terrible stage. It's a fact of life. But the thing is that it isn't just two year olds! It's threes, fours, and yes sometimes fives! Not having a child at the age of six (just yet, give it another month) I'm not sure if it continues after that, but I guess we shall see. (I'm hoping it begins to taper off. LOL)

For my oldest son, he didn't start his terrible stage until he turned three. Then we had the terrible threes, but for my youngest son we are definitely in the terrible twos.
I can't blame them really, as children are growing out of infancy they start testing their limits. This can end in a good and bad way. Of course we all want to get our way. Who doesn't? But as they begin to test their limits and are moving around relatively unassisted on their own they begin to hear that dreaded word...NO! That's not a word that has a happy place in a toddler's vocabulary. Well not when it's being told to them anyway.
Toddlers are also dealing with more emotions than ever and how to handle those emotions is key. Often they don't know how to handle how they are feeling or they cannot explain it. This is where we as parents need to help them with that. There are methods for each kind of tantrum. Not saying any of these methods will work 100% of the time but they sure can help.

  • Talking- If your child is old enough to understand what you are saying sometimes the calm approach is best. Discuss how your child is feeling and why. When my son gets upset I tell him to take a few deep breaths before he explodes.
  • Re-direct their anger and discuss other ways they can express themselves that doesn't involve throwing a fit. Again discuss how they are feeling and why.
  • Sometimes ignoring bad behavior can also have a positive effect. As long as your child's behavior isn't hurting anyone (other than maybe grating on some nerves) just take a deep breath and let it go. Say calmly and simply "No you are not getting that toy today" and leave it at that. They are throwing the fit to get the attention and bad behavior is not rewarded.

Every child wants to be in charge, but the key is to let them know that no matter what you are still the one in charge and that isn't going to change. Tantrums will still happen but will either decrease in severity or how often they happen. My oldest son knows better these days than to argue with me over getting a toy when we go shopping or getting this or that. He knows by now that when I say no it means no and crying or screaming about it will do no good.
My youngest son however has not grasped this fact yet and probably won't for a little while still. He is still learning and coming into his own. Eventually though he will get it.

So don't get stressed when your child is screaming at the top of his/her lungs. Don't be embarrassed. I guarantee there are other mothers wherever you are that have been there and done that. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it either because tantrums are just a normal part of your child and having a child. They are going to happen whether you like it or not. It's normal and even healthy that your child is developing, testing limits, and learning his/her own sense of self. Take a deep breath and push on, the tantrums won't last forever.

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