Breaking Down Three Basic Tantrums & How To Handle Them-
Exhaustion Tantrums- These are some of the more common tantrums related to poor sleep habits and being overly tired. Many times when babies and children are missing out on sleep they will have complete meltdowns and outburst related to lack of sleep. The best way to avoid these temper tantrums is to have an age appropriate sleep schedule and bedtime routine for your little one. I challenge you for one week to get your child into bed at a decent hour and have an age appropriate nap schedule if this applies to your child. Keep a daily log of their sleep schedule, their behavior and outburst for the week.
When babies and toddlers are in the midst of learning a new skill or approaching a big milestone there can be more outburst. Especially in babies and toddlers who are still learning to express themselves, as they have not developed the skill of using their words. Their actions are how they show their frustrations and dissatisfaction about a situation. These outbursts can be brought on by making a child quit a fun activity, stop playing outside to eat lunch or removing them from doing something dangerous such as climbing the furniture. When your child has an outburst the key is to remember to stand firm and follow through with what you say! Especially with toddlers and preschool age children, they will test you and see how far you are willing to go with your threats. Remove them from the situation and let them calm down. Whether you choose to place them in time out, have a talk with them, take them to a special zone, spankings or place their favorite toy on top of the refrigerator in plain sight. STICK to what you say because this will go a long way in the future.
These tantrums can cause a parent to pull their hair out. These meltdowns have no rhyme or reason and came out of the blue. You may have given them water instead of milk, a red bow instead of a brown bow or put shorts on them instead of pants. These will cause a parent to want to have a meltdown themselves. The best method here is to not speak about the issue at the time of the outburst. Simply remove your child from the situation place them in their crib or bed or a safe zone for everyone to cool off. After a few minutes it is important to make sure your child knows this outburst was unacceptable and there will be a consequence. Again, this is up to every parent and what they feel is the best method. It is important to remember you are the adult and the one with the level head and reasoning.
The Escape Plan-
The most epic meltdowns seem to come at the most inopportune times, such as a restaurant, sporting event or the grocery store. Have a plan in place if these tantrums occur to address the situation immediately. Remember there is no reason to try and reason or talk with a child during these fits. I understand it can be time consuming to leave your grocery cart and take your child to the car to calm down or even leave the parking lot and head home, if it comes to that, but the more your child knows you mean business the less these outbursts will occur.
Choices Can Be Powerful-
Check out The Baby Sleep Site and their tips to address meltdowns with your children.
Give your toddlers and small children age appropriate choices. Children feel special and involved when the time is right to let them have a small choice. Let them choose their outfit for the day, or give them a choice for breakfast or lunch. The simplest choices can make a huge impact on a small child. Choosing your battles are key, this one can be extra tough for me to swallow many days. Allowing Easten to pick out his own yogurt at the grocery store makes him feel as if he has choices and able to make important decisions. Do not over whelm a child with too many choices then it becomes a frustration for everyone.