You’ve been warned about the terrible twos. But there’s not much that can prepare you for when that first tantrums hits. Or is there?
The terrible twos: A stage which your once blue-eyed angel had you convinced you would never have to endure. And, it doesn’t stop there...
The ‘threenager’, ‘feisty fours’ and ‘know-it-all-fives’ awaits.
Before you lose your sense of humour, try these five tips which could help you tame a tantrum and even prevent them from happening in the first place (likely not, if we’re being honest, but well worth a try anyway!)
1. It’s all about ground rules
If you’re in the thick of it, you probably know that a meltdown usually follows after you tell your toddler that he or she is not allowed to do or have something. The best way to tackle this type of tantrum, is to create ground rules and stick to them. You shouldn’t say no today and yes to the same situation tomorrow. Over time, toddlers learn what is expected of them and will in turn co-operate with you.
2. Team work (dad and gran, this means you too!)
There’s no point in being the only one to enforce ground rules. Family members (daddy and granny, this means you too) and caregivers should be on the same page as you and help set boundaries for your toddler’s behaviour.
If toddlers are given a consistent response to various situations, they will be less likely to push boundaries with different people.
3. Take a deep breath and count to 10 (or 100 if you need to)
In the middle of a tantrum, it is easy to have a mini eruption of your own. I am guilty of this – as I am sure you are too!
For the sake of the situation (and your sanity, and er, dignity), take a deep breath and count to 10. There is no point in both of you being hysterical. Children feed off the emotions of their parents. If you are able to remain calm, your toddler might take a cue from your behaviour and calm down too.
4. Distraction is key
This is not guaranteed to work, as some toddlers are more stubborn than others. But hey, it’s worth a try and some parents are able to successfully distract their child out of a tantrum. The next time your toddler erupts, try telling a funny joke or doing a silly dance.
You never know, it may be just what your toddler needs to move on from the situation.
5. Keep to a schedule
The more comfortable toddlers are, the less likely they are to respond to a situation negatively by throwing a tantrum. Make every effort to stick to your toddler’s schedule. Knowing what comes next is comforting.
A comfy toddler is a happy toddler, and one who is less likely to throw a tantrum.