We have all heard the term the “terrible twos”. This term is usually used to describe a behavior pattern in toddlers, ages 18 to 36 months, who are characterized by demands, noise, tantrums, the word “no” and all kinds of other behaviors that cause embarrassment to the adults that dare to take their children out in public!!
Does every child go through this phase? Not always and often not to the extent that we see on television and in movies.
Does every child have to go through this stage? I really don’t believe they do and, if you keep reading, you will see why.
When your kid is in the middle of a tantrum –of course, you want to be sure that child is safe and not in an unsafe environment! – you need to basically ignore the tantrum and let it run its course. And, it will run its course! It might feel like a lifetime when you’re going through it, but it will run its course. When your child is calm, and only when the child is calm, is the time to talk to him about what happened. You’ll have to recognize that the child is a two-year old and his ability to be rational will be nothing like that of an older child. And, you should be prepared to go through this a number of times without losing your cool.
Temper tantrum triggers
Some children seem more prone to tantrums than others, although certain situations are likely to trigger a meltdown. Dr. SEARS lists these as the most common triggers:
Tiredness—We know as adults we cope better when we are well-rested. Is it any surprise that this is the case for children?
Hunger—Toddlers, known for their “grazing” on small snacks all day, burn a lot of energy. When the energy reserves drop, so does their ability to handle frustration.
Boredom—Keep a small child confined in one place for too long—and an outburst is more likely to happen.
Overstimulation—Too much going on around a toddler can be just as upsetting.
Illness—A tantrum in a child who ordinarily is on a pretty even keel can be an early sign of a cold or ear infection or some other illness.
Dealing with a temper tantrum
No matter how well you plan ahead, you may find yourself in the middle of the grocery store aisle with a toddler in a full-blown temper tantrum. Some children, by their very nature, are more prone to tantrums than others, but even the calmest toddler can dissolve into a tantrum at one time or another. Now what?
Take a deep breath!
Don’t worry about what onlookers are thinking.
Keep your child safe. By holding him, you’ll provide comforting limits, and you can let your toddler know everything’s okay.
Change the scenery! Give your toddler a few minutes to calm down and then you can decide what to do next.
Don’t give in. Giving him what he wants might stop the tantrum this time, but only sets up a power play for the next time. Try distracting him with another activity or focus.
As with many of life’s frustrations, your mantra for temper tantrums should be,
“This, too, shall pass.”
Toddlers need to learn how to react to frustration and disappointment, and part of that learning will come in its own good time as your child matures. Temper tantrums are usually (but not always) a thing of the past by the time a toddler is 3 years old.
Author: Priyanka Mohanty
Motherhood has been an amazing journey so far; each day, an adventure of sorts. After a stint in marketing and marketing communications, I am currently a stay at home mom, blogger, traveller and chef. Never thought I would be happy to call myself a SAHM! Right now, my 24/7 job is being a mom. I am here to share my thoughts and experiences on parenting, life and ways we could improve our lives. When I’m not reorganizing the drawers or handling tantrums, I can be found writing about health, nutrition, beauty and wellness. Also, I am an endangered bookworm who loves nothing more than finding the perfect solution to life’s little conundrums in books and nature.