How on earth do you gentle parent a tantruming toddler???(11 Posts)
DD is 16 months old and a lovely little girl. But like all toddlers she has tantrums and we have a lot of battles as she is fiercely independent. I'm finding it difficult to remain calm when she has her meltdowns, rolling on the floor screaming! I'm 39 weeks pregnant which maybe doesn't help with keeping my cool but I think I need some coping mechanisms! Any advice appreciated.
Just ignore it and get on with your day.
Calmly reiterate the point, ignore the tantrum, then praise the good.
Put her somewhere safe while she's thrashing about then just ignore ignore.
Mine is 15 months and when it started feeling everything was a battle I had to take a step back and start allowing her to be more independent. E.g. nappy changes are wriggling times. I find that it helps when she comes to have her nappy changed out of her free will, i.e. I would say come and let's get your nappy changed rather than just scoop her up (also changed to pull ups). With meals, I allow her to self feed if that is what she wants - sure it is messy but at least she eats something then. Once she feels more in control, she is less likely to tantrum out of every single thing.
Oh, and allowing her to walk loads and loads every day - she does not want to hold hands but generally tolerates steering - and then she is happy to sit in the buggy for a bit of rest.
So pick your battles and like the above poster says - ignore the meltdowns.
I used to put mine in the cot or the buggy and leave her to it. They aren't listening any more once they are in the tantrum. You can say what you like, they won't be hearing it because they are too worked up.
And look for the tension points - is she trying to do things she can't quite manage yet like get her clothes on. Try and allow extra time for simple tasks so that she can try to do them herself. Don't worry if she doesn't quite get things on properly - like tops back to front, just go with it.
Have simple but firm rules. So one of mine was always holding hands when crossing the road. This could result in her going limp halfway across the road which is not ideal. I would reiterate the rule but also praise her for the entire time we were crossing (anyone else must have thought I was ridiculous!). So I would be going 'good crossing, well done, keep going, well done, what lovely crossing, well done' . Lots of praise, lots of patience.
Gosh I remember that stage well! Good luck!
In the meantime here's a link that may help.
Ds is 13 months and the king of tantrums! depending what he is tantruming about I either try and distract him or try and make him laugh or just walk away if he is somewhere safe.
I have had to give my now 23mo old loads more time around transitions, warning that things are going to happen, and letting him come to the mat for nappies or climb into the buggy himself and when I'm not in a mad rush I wait a minute or two and often discover that he'll do what needs done then of his own volition. I can't avoid all tantrums but I've really reduced them by explaining myself more and not just abruptly physically moving him around to my schedule.
When it comes to staying calm you need to remember that it isn't your crisis, it's hers. Your job is to be there for her while she works through the emotions she's feeling. Staying calm is important because it shows her that you're in control of the situation, she can see that you aren't worried or upset by the feelings she's having so you're teaching her that anger and sadness are normal things and nothing to be scared of. You can name her emotions for her, "you're feeling really angry, you wanted to play with the phone/eat the stick/put your nappy on your head etc' So she knows you understand what she's feeling. And that's it really! She needs to deal with what she's feeling no matter how ridiculous the reason might seem to an adult and the more you help and allow her to do that the quicker the whole process becomes (eventually!)
I agree with everything museumum said about reducing the number of tantrums you're dealing with in the first place.
Sensible post Orions . They are learning to deal with their emotions- I don't think it is very helpful to prevent them all in the first place. Obviously you should use tactics like distraction etc, depending on the child,but they need to learn how to deal with strong emotions for themselves.
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