Being a full time stay at home daddy, looking after my 2 year old daughter, I know exactly how hard it is to manage certain types of tantrums. During this period I have seen and dealt with countless amounts of tantrums. If you have a toddler my tips in this article might help you dealing with tantrums easier.
We think, that being a child is easy and pure bliss. They have nothing to do, no responsibilities, they eat, drink, play and sleep. The life of a child is not easy, in fact it is very difficult. The adults around them, put restrictions on everything and they don't give the child a free hand.
Parents know everything better. They know, what a child should and should not do, they know how a child should and should not behave. The child hears a lot of things like don't do this, don't touch that, don't jump on the bed, don't pick things up off the floor and so on, but the child contradicts everything and if you don't let them do it, they throws a tantrum.
If your beloved child has turned two, get ready for a difficult time. Hence the term "terrible twos". There will often be tantrums. This is because from this age onwards, the child starts to become independent in their own way and they want to solve and achieve everything themselves, which of course they don't manage to do. Their language skills are not yet ready to express what they want, so they can't let us know, and this gives rise to huge tantrums.
What we call tantrum anyway? Different parents call a tantrum on different behaviours. Some call a tantrum when a child is just giving out on something an crying, some call a tantrum, when a child is throwing themselves on the floor with a loud shouting.
The most common case is when a tantrum develops, when the child fails to do something after repeated attempts. This is when they become frustrated. It is not their fault, for example, that they fail to put a cube on the top of a triangular toy with the intention, that it will stay on. Of course, it falls off every time and they get frustrated, because they are trying to do the impossible.
The other case is when they try to do something in their exploration, that you really shouldn't let them do, because they could easily get hurt. There are more cases of course, but these are the most common ones. So what we should not do, when a child is having a tantrum.
During a tantrum, a child gets into a bad emotional state. Trying to explain to them, that they were naughty or wrong about something, will not work, and may even make things worse. But a change of environment can help us. We can take them to another room or even away from home. Distraction takes a big impact on their behaviour. Surprisingly, they fall silent immediately.
Accept the hysteria in all cases. There is no child, who does not have tantrums. It comes with their age. Don't be tense, nervous, irritable and most importantly don't raise your voice and let them know, that you've had enough of tantrums and that they should stop. Remember, the child is constantly learning from us involuntarily. If we react by shouting angrily, they will learn,that this is the way it is supposed to be in conflict situations.
Punishment does not help at all. The child often does not know what they want. They can't explain their problems to us, and that can cause tantrums. It is not intentional. Don't leave them alone and don't forbid them to play their favourite game or to watch their favourite story. Tantrums are very difficult to deal with, if we don't know its background. We feel helpless and don't really know what to do. The best thing to do is to give both of you time. Stay in the background, but don't disappear from the child's sight. Tell them, in a calm tone of voice, how much this bothers you. Include a joke. Wait until you both calm down and then you can move closer for a hug.
If we know, that the child is being defiant, because they didn't get what they saw in the shop or we didn't take them to their favourite playground this time, don't buy them that particular toy, ice cream or candy just to stop them throwing a tantrum. Yes it will shut the child up, but it's easy for them to take control and get the better of their parents. This is also a danger of spoiling them.
This period also includes the so called "no" era. The answer to everything is no. Even if it makes no sense. At the age of 2-3 years, the child develops a sense of independence and realises, that they have a will of their own.
What I've noticed and apply is that I don't give my daughter questions to answer with yes or no, because the answer will always be no. Instead, I give her alternatives in which she can make choices, making her even more aware, that I am curious about her opinion.
Which top would you like to wear today, red or blue?
When do you want to go home from the playground, now or in 10 minutes?
Do you want to help daddy with loading the washing machine or would you rather help with hoovering?
These are just my personal experiences and opinions. Each parent decides for themselves what they do and how they raise their child. Of course I cannot and do not want to interfere in this. If I can be of any help, I am happy to do so.