Yes, if you found your way here, you’ve probably experienced one this week–the dreaded temper tantrum. You know how they start. One day your angel goes to bed and awakes the next morning with a smile. As always you fix the little darling her favorite breakfast on her favorite plate and place it at her favorite spot on the table. Then, just when you feel like June Cleaver it happens–she didn’t want that plate, she didn’t want that food, “No, no, no!
As long as she is safe, experts suggest that you restate in 4 words or less (in a firm and commanding voice) what her options are, then you should leave the room or return to your work. If your child is closer to two, you may want to leave a visual in the area so she can see it. This will act as a reminder as to what is expected of her. For example, if your toddler is having a tantrum because she wants crackers and you served her toast, tell her that she can have crackers right after she eats her toast. Restate, firmly, “First toast, then crackers.” Place the toast in the room she is in, at a level she can see and reach it, then leave the room or turn your back and make yourself busy. If she has not calmed in a few minutes, draw her attention to the toast, perhaps move the plate closer to her. Experts say, not to mention the toast, but simply help her remember it is there. A few minutes later say, “Yum toast, first toast, then crackers.”
Remember the more you let your toddler get away with a temper tantrum, the harder it will be to get her to stop. We all make mistakes by giving in from time to time, but we can correct our mistakes while they are still young. Children this age are very smart when it comes to manipulation tactics, but parents have to be smarter, or at least have more will power. It really is a battle of the wills. Just keep a few thoughts in mind during the turmoil:
1. Each time you can outlast the tantrum, your child will be a better person.
2. The crying has to stop sometime; it can’t last forever.
3. No one’s head has really fallen off due to screaming.