Moving, unpacking and remodeling a house will even make an adult have a tantrum. Add a two-year-old into the mix and for the past few weeks it’s been tantrum town at our house.
The days were much longer and the nights passed by so quickly, before we knew it, it was morning again.
Sipping my coffee last weekend I came up with a strategy for tackling these tantrums. While I knew it would be hard, given so much recent activity and change in our family, I was determined to give it a try.
I thought about the best way to handle it and for me, talking about my feelings makes everything better and maybe it would for my two-year old.
I sat our daughter down outside and said that I needed to talk with her about something. I told her that sometimes I see she gets frustrated and upset and even mad at mommy and that while it makes me sad it’s completely normal and OK.
I told her that when she’s upset and ready to have a tantrum, to think about how she feels and express it verbally. For example, if she wants a cup of chocolate milk and all we have is regular, she can say, “I’m upset, I want chocolate milk.” She doesn’t need to fall on the floor. I explained to her that each week I go to the grocery store and she can come with me to buy chocolate milk.
Also, I say to her each morning, “Today is a good day, no crying, no whining and no tantrums.” After just a few days of telling her that, she now wakes up saying, “Good day – no crying, no tantrums.” Let me reiterate by saying that I am not trying to completely eliminate whining, tantrums and crying (it would be nice though), I know it’s normal age-appropriate behavior for a toddler and while I don’t want to rob her of that, I want her to have alternatives for expressing herself.
I think sometimes we forget how easy it is to communicate with toddlers, and while it can be a challenge and sometimes we even wonder if it’s actually helping, it’s all about repetition and consistency. The more we say something to them, I believe the quicker it will stick.
While this doesn’t completely prevent her from crying, wining and having tantrums, I hands down can say it’s greatly reduced them. She is able to comprehend that it’s OK to feel a certain way (mad, happy, sad) without wailing and falling on the floor.
Let’s see how long this lasts!
What ways do you talk with your kids about tantrums?