Has your child hit those terrible 2’s? Maybe they started earlier than everyone warned you about…? either way… they are here and here is how to deal with them.
When things don’t quite go their way, the volcano gets ready to erupt all because they don’t know how to cope with their emotions!
At this age it’s all about frustration, they don’t get what they want, when they want and you are not responding to their ever growing list of needs fast enough. Then the tantrum that starts right then and there in the isle of Woolworths…. You can feel your face is flushed and you don’t know what to do, what should you do…?
It’s usually the little things you might find, the cheese stick broke in half when you were unwrapping it, they want cereal for dinner, they didn’t want the blue plate, they wanted the green one or they wanted to put the toothpaste on their brush by themselves. Add some fatigue from a long day or hunger and you have recipe for disaster.
It’s important to understand that these “little things” matter to your little ones, so stop telling them it doesn’t matter or they are being silly.
Showing understanding of why they are getting so worked up is half the battle. Let them have it; you’re right, the blue plate isn’t the right plate, what was I thinking, green it is! Or maybe that little bit of independence is good for them, let them squeeze out half the toothpaste onto their brush, they are learning how to do it after all.
There are times however where you cannot give them what they want. What’s important to remember is keep your calm, take a deep breath and let them know that tantrums are not acceptable behaviour. Ignore the tantrum, they are screaming for attention, hoping they will get that lollipop. As soon as they realise you will not give in, the screaming will stop.
And don’t worry about other people staring if you are in public, if they have had kids, they’ve been there, if they haven’t, their time will come.
If your child is to the point of being out of control, pick them up and hold them tight, tell them calmly that you love them but you will not give them what they want. Try to remove them from the situation to give them time to calm down.
Try not to give time out as they haven’t done anything wrong, they simply don’t know how to express what they want so they go to extreme measures to get their point across.
* Turning purple from holding their breath
* Throwing things
1. Communication! Let them know if things are changing in their daily routine – no surprises.
2. If possible don’t interrupt their nap times, tempers are triggered due to hunger or lack of sleep.
3. Make sure you always have an arsenal of snacks in your bag if your out and about.
4. Allow a toy if you are going out, kids get bored waiting in line with you at the bank, if they have their favourite car, they may be occupied enough for you to get in and out without[AC2] an incident.
5. Make sure all temptations are out of sight reducing the tug-o-war that can start over a chocolate being left on the kitchen bench near dinnertime.
6. Pick your battles, sometimes let them have it, let them dry themselves with the towel after their bath instead of listening to them scream because you want to quickly get them dressed to move onto cooking dinner.
7. Remind them to use their words and kneel down to their level instead of leaning over them, show them you are willing to listen.
8. Create a Diversion! Children’s attention spans are short and offering something else as an alternative or start playing with their favourite toy within line of sight to distract them from what’s bothering them so much. They will often stop quickly to see what is happening.
9. Give your child choices. “Which cereal do you want today, weetbix or nutrigrain”.
10. Above all, praise good behaviour by showing them attention. Children quickly learn that attention is given for poor behaviour but to them attention is attention (whether good or bad)!
Helen Korch, Family Relations & Enrolments Coordinator – Kids Club Early Childhood Learning Centres
Kids Club Early Learning Centres offer quality Six Star Child care in Sydney & ACT. With stimulating play spaces, child-led learning, healthy nutrition & commercial onsite chefs and of course the most passionate and experienced educators, the best start truly does begin at Kids Club.
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