Little miss one, sits on the lounge room floor staring at me. We have just demolished a Drumstick Ice-Cream together. I watch as I begin to tell her there is none left. I see her eyes start to well up. I see her fists start to clench. The room is silent. I close my eyes and wait for it….
Ah yes. The temper tantrum.
From whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. The unavoidable aspect of raising children, particularly those aged 1-4. Children of these ages cannot express their needs or control their emotions when they are frustrated.
Both my husband and I are stubborn, so it was inevitable that our daughter be blessed with this trait. Most times, her tantrums are a result of her tiredness. However, there are moments when she just wants to push the boundaries and diva out.
It can be a stressful time for both māmā and bub, but I have a few strategies that help me deal and cope with the dreaded temper tantrum.
When the ‘acting out’ begins, remember to stay calm. Breath. Tantrums are normal and they are not your fault. Never forget that you are your child’s role model for handling emotions and reacting to situations. If you are finding it hard to keep your cool, walk away and give yourself (and your child) some space.
No Means No
Do not give in. If you have said no, then no means no. Your job as a parent, is to prepare and guide your child into adulthood. As an adult, you are simply not handed everything you want, so why teach your baby that? “If you have never been hated by your child, then you have never been a parent”. Truth.
Timeout Is A Good Thing
Temper tantrums are an attention-seeking behaviour. Going to another room in the house may shorten the episode because now the drama has no audience. After a good ten minute cry, my child has either fallen asleep, or has calmed down enough to be reasoned with.
Sit Down And Explain
I know what you are thinking. How can a one year old know what is happening? But, you will be surprised at how much children actually understand. Even if my daughter cannot understand my words, I am pretty sure she gets an idea just from my tone of voice and body language. It is also a good habit to talk things through and show that communication is the key to resolving problems.
Cuddles Make Everything Better
Hugs and kisses make everything better, am I right? They help communicate with your your child that everything is okay, that you are not angry (even though at times, you maybe fuming), and that you love them.
I know it can be hard to stamp your foot down, but I am of the belief that if you install boundaries at an early age and address that there consequences of misbehaving, your future self will thank you.