Advice for dealing with toddler tantrums in positive parenting style(10 Posts)
Since DS was born we have committed to attachment theory and positive parenting principles, which for us has resulted in a happy, well adjusted and confident little toddler. However now we are approaching 2 years ds has started to throw the odd tantrum etc, gradually becoming more frequent. Tantrums nomrally come in the form of protests and very recently in what I think is the start of separation anxiety, i.e. when either of us leave etc. we have a general rule that we will not leave him anywhere crying, so if this results in me spending 20mins at the childminders settling him, this is what I'll do, and this does seem to work for this particular situation. However can anyone offer tips in the best way of handling this or point me in the direction of good books which will continue to reinforce our style of parenting? I am pregnant with dc2 so wodnering if this is impacting on the situation as well.
Your son is entering toddlerdom. Full of frustrations, anxieties and, occasionally, rage. Lots of good times, no doubt about it, but a fair few hissy fits too.
Sounds like you have given him a wonderful start in life, and you are satisfied with your approach. I do think now is the time to manage your expectations about the next year or so. Things are going to change, and your approach is going to have to change. You will have times when you will have to shout, to simply stop them immediately doing something dangerous / v naughty. You will have times when you will have to leave him to it. This will not be neglecting him, this is what he wants and needs.... A few minutes (or even longer) to get out his frustrations, and if you are hovering and trying to be involved, you are going to irritate him and the tantrums will be prolonged.
I am sure others will be along soon to get you better advise, but in a nutshell mine is to prepare yourself for a more disciplinarian approach to this period. No bad thing, you are preparing your son to getting on in life.
I love this book:
It explains a tantrum is a child's way of releasing built up frustrations of the day and you just have to support them through it in a caring way. Works brilliantly for us. My daughter (2) will have a good 2 minute howl after nursery and then be a wonderful happy little girl the rest of the evening.
Yes bbface i think you have summarised what I was trying to say, I want to keep in a similar style to what is comfortable to us and ds but do recognise we have shifted a gear now and our previous ways of paretning need to change to keep up.
Cheers for the link lambinapram
The best book I have read about sensitive parenting is called: What Every Parent Needs to Know by Margot Sunderland. It's sometimes called The Science of Parenting as well. It's on Amazon. I cannot recommend it enough. I bought it for a lot of friends and relatives. It also deals with tantrums. There are different kinds of tantrums and each needs different approach. The motto is to comfort your child whenever he/she is upset/crying. It talks about all the science behind it as well.
I think there's a definite difference between types of tantrums and genuine upset crying and you just come up with strategies to deal with all of these.
For example - I think with my DS there are two types of tantrums - "the frustration" and "the nonsense". The nonsense is over things like "I want toast, no I don't, yes I do, no I don't" or "I am not prepared to consider this dinner that you have made me". With these I am tough and no nonsense. I say something along the lines of "here is some toast. If you want to eat it, wonderful. If you don't, leave it on the plate. I will do X with you once you have stopped screaming" - and then I ignore any further screaming - sometimes saying "I can't hear what you're saying when you're screaming, please use your normal voice"
Then there is "the frustration" which is for things like "can't do this damn puzzle" or "why can't I get my own shoes on" etc (my DS specialises in these). For these I am sympathetic and try to empathise and give a word to his feelings "It's really frustrating when you can't get your shoe on isn't it? How about we do it together?" "You've had fun in the park haven't you? I bet you feel a bit sad to go home. How about we sing a song in the car on the way back?"
Then genuine crying - just cuddles and again, giving words to feelings. My DS is only just 2 but is already surprisingly good at saying "feel bit sad" or "feel bit scared" and it has really helped, giving him the vocab to express himself.
But they are two. There will be tantrums and they will often be over random things that aren't that random to the child.
Oh and I always praise when he has calmed down "thank you for calming down, now let's go and do X" and then try to do something fun.
Just about to read 'you are your child's first teacher' and 'trees make the best mobiles ' is lovely too
Oh, also, 'your self confident baby' is a good book based on sensitive parenting type stuff.
Sorry so brief, need to go to bed in case ds has another bad night....
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