WHY DO TODDLERS HAVE TANTRUMS?
Our toddler’s tantrums are a normal and a necessary part of his development… but no, they certainly don’t feel normal! As he develops his communication skills , the level of frustration that he feels will diminish somewhat.
He experiences conflict between wanting to be independent but not yet having the necessary skills to achieve what he is trying to do. Toddlers have a limited understanding of time, which means he functions in the present, his desires are immediate and he finds it difficult to wait for things.
Your toddler is egocentric and only sees life from his point of view! A continual round of tantrums by a negative toddler can be exhausting, depressing and debilitating for parents.
Tantrums can be just a form of attention seeking or they may be a rewarding habit… if it gets him what he wants! He may just be testing the limits or perhaps there are too many boundaries and rules in his life?
Each child’s temperament is different and he may feel out of control when he is tired or overstimulated.
He may also be reacting to changes on the home front… a new baby, starting day care, tension between parents or moving to a new home.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Firstly… be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for the feelings of anger and frustration that you are feeling!
Understand the reasons for tantrums andbelieve that they will pass!
Consider what your expectations of your toddler are and whether you have too many rules in your home.
Stay as calm as possible and try not to expect too much of your toddler, especially in new places or if he is hungry, tired or overstimulated.
Distract him… toddlers are fairly easily distracted by a shift in their attention like a toy or a bird in the sky etc.
Some children respond to hugging and rocking but if you are at risk of being kicked or bitten, move away and pretend to ignore. You may try humming or turning your music up. Try sitting on the floor near him, but with your back to him.
As he begins to calm down… discuss his behavior (even if he is unable to understand your logic) then a hug and a tickle will helpyou to feel better!!!
As he matures, reward and acknowledge good behavior in tricky situations.
When all else fails… TRY AND MAINTAIN YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR!!!