Taming the Toddler and his Tantrums
Gone is the cuddly baby phase and now your baby has become a toddler who is on a cusp of developing his own emotional and social skills. Though he is yearning for more freedom and control but is also scared of being separated from his mother. As he is not able to express his emotions and hardly can utter any words the only way he can react is by crying or screaming; in other words by throwing tantrums. Seldom parents complain that their child has become stubborn or cries a lot if denied anything and they resort to giving in his cries. But is it going to help in the long run? No. Remember, it is easy to mold a youngster but very difficult to change an adult who can talk and reason. So here is how parents can tame their toddler without raising a hand on him or screaming back at him:
- Stay firm but not rigid: There is the difference between being rigid and firm and parents should learn that. It is important to stay firm so that you can help your toddler in this transition phase without screaming back on them. At times you will have to give them a verdict and leave the room rather than stay there watch them cry. Being firm means being flexible from time to time but also teaching them the valuable lesson of taking rejection positively.
- Have a routine with minimum cheat days: Being consistent and following a set pattern will help them stay focused and not stray away. If your child knows dinner will be served at 7 pm then they will ask for dinner on the set time rather than craving for snacks.
- Listen to them but don’t give in: If your child is crying then listen to them and hold them close to pacify them but you don’t have to give in to their demands every time. It is normally seen a child gets fixated to a toy and starts crying the moment he hears mom saying no. So best thing at that time is pacify him or distract him with other things rather than get him that toy to avoid embarrassment.
- Appreciate but don’t always reward: Parents shower their kids with gifts when they do something right says experts from Mothercare, ELC which is wrong. This way you are conditioning their mind that they will get a reward for every good deed which is not possible every time. So appreciate them but don’t make it a habit to reward them.
- Make them Emotionally Strong: This is the phase when a child can become either emotionally strong or sensitive. So by using distraction strategy or avoiding them when they seek attention or being firm will help them become emotionally strong. Leave them alone for some time and give them space to cry. It will make them independent and controller of the situation.
Yes, the phase is difficult for a child and parents but this is the time when parents also have to assume the role of becoming their first teacher and teach them valuable lessons that can be taught practically not in classes. So don’t feel guilty of denying your child because that’s the trait of a responsible parent.