Every mom hears about the dreaded terrible twos. Where the toddler throws fits in the grocery store, has meltdowns in the parking lot, and will run through your house ruining and destroying anything and everything in his/her path.
Well with that being said, before we hit the two year old stage I started reading blogs and different books for different tips and tricks to help me get through those melt downs. I am no expert and only have one two year old, but here are a couple tips and tricks that we found worked for us. I realize every child is different and responds differently to each circumstance.
- Stay calm– I have always found that it is important to stay calm when I am giving directions or disciplining. The angrier I get the angrier Kenna gets. Sometimes I even take a couple deep breaths so I will not yell and get Kenna more riled up.
- Be consistent and follow through- Kids love routine. Even if they do not seem like they like routine, children behave much better when they know what to expect. So it is important to have certain rules that you stick to. It is also important that the father and mother stick to the same rules as well. If one parent always allows the child to break the rules than the child is confused and is not sure what his/her expectations are. Also follow through immediately. If you are in the parking lot and the child is throwing a temper tantrum and you give them an option to stop crying and screaming or sit in a time out and they continue- have them take a time out right there in the parking lot until the child calms down.
- Give Choices- I was given an excellent book called Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years. This book focuses on given children choices. Toddlers want control and feel like they are making their own decisions, so if you give them an option of two different things you want to happen they get to choose and they feel like they are making their own choice. The book also gives excellent examples of real situations and different phrases to use in those circumstances. We give Kenna choices all the time and if she doesn’t want to choose one of the choices than mommy and daddy get to choose. Sometimes there are tears, but we stick to the rules and she soon learns she would rather choose one of the choices and have it be her choice than mommy and daddy’s. We have experienced with the giving choices parenting style, that we have less meltdowns and temper tantrums.
- SLEEP- Sleep is so important for little humans as their minds and bodies grow. According to kidshealth.org toddlers should get 12-14 hours of sleep a day. I know that most meltdowns happen with Kenna because she is overtired. If she goes to bed late, I know that the next morning will be more difficult because she did not get adequate sleep. Even if kids do not like to nap during the day it is important for them to have down/quiet time.
- Consequences- Don’t be afraid to give consequences. It is a lifelong lesson if you do not behave appropriately or make poor choices there will be consequences. If Kenna is having a hard time she will sit in time out until she calms down. Once she calms down she can come out of time out. Another example, when given the choices to either A.pick up her toys or B.have mama pick up her toys and have the toys be put away for a couple days, if Kenna doesn’t pick up the toys then I will put the toys away for a couple of days. Singing also helps with cleanup time;)
There you have it folks. Those are some tips we have found that have worked for us. What tips or tricks have you used to help with temper tantrums?