Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On Toddler Temper Tantrums

My 15 month old daughter can throw quite a fit. She will scream and squeal (like a powerhouse) her way into getting anything she wants. It's nearly impossible to reason with her especially with grown up logic. I know that tantrums are just her way of expressing her frustrations of the moment and that they are part of growing up. However, there are days when I just can't deal with all the screaming, squealing, and crying. I would feel guilty when I get mad at her. I get frustrated when I can't calm her down or make her stop.   

This is ME throwing a fit! hahahah!

Here's what I try to do and keep on reminding myself to do.  I am not an expert on these nor have I mastered these tricks. These are just little things I try to practice everyday based on my experiences an little bit of research.

Ignore. Walk away and carry on with other task. When I know she's in a safe place like in her crib, for example, I try to ignore her when she cries. As much as possible I try to avoid dealing with her when I'm mad and my stress level is high. I go away and calm myself down. When I feel better, that's when I talk to her. Mahirap kasi kapag galit din ako. I'm afraid I might hurt her because I'm angry.

Distract. When ignoring didn't work. I distract her by taking her outside or giving her another book or toy. Sometimes I tell her "O kwentuhan tayo ha, Di ba kahapon nakita mo si DOra? Ano nga ginagawa ni Dora." o kaya "Di ba nakita mo yung sumasaya na frog sa Toy Kingdom? Paano nga ulit yung dance nya?" etc. When she stops crying or calms down,I praise her for being a good girl and give her a kiss. That way she knows I'm not mad at her.

And that's my mother bribing me with a balloon. hahaha!

Speak calmly. I noticed that when I raise my voice or shout at her her tantrums just gets even worse. She even screams back at me. So as much as possible I talk to her calmly. Like when she does something I don't want her to do I just say, "Yomi, di ba sabi ni mommy hindi pwede jan kasi baka ka masaktan." She responds more positively when I talk to her that way. When I talk to her, I kneel down or sit para mag-kalevel kami. 

Be more positive. Try to minimize saying 'No'. I noticed that when I say it that's when she cries or sometimes screams 'No!' right back. So I say 'later' , or 'mamaya'. This does not work all the time but it does work. I also give her plenty of praise, hugs ,and kisses when she does something good or something I want her to do like when she shares her food or toy.

Redirect. Minsan kung kelan gabi tsaka naman magsasabi si Yomi ng "labas", "baba", or "moon". She means she wants to go out and look at the moon. If it's already her bed time and she still wants to go out I just say, "Opo, kanina nakita mo yung moon diba. Ang ganda at ang laki." This way I am affirming what she's saying while redirecting her from going out to just talking about the moon. I don't have to give in to everything she wants to do especially if it's already bed time.

Children eventually develop language and become more understanding. When this happens, they are less likely to throw tantrums. However, I think it is still very important to properly deal with them in their toddler years. Responding to them angrily through screaming and smacking or ignoring them will just make things worse. We should remember that tantrums are part of toddler life and that there is no perfect way of parenting. I believe it just really takes a lot of patience and a great amount of love to raise a child.

I hope this helps. Thanks for dropping by! :)

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