Am I dealing with tantrums right?
BreakinbadBreakineven · 13/05/2022 14:00
DD is 20 months and just starting to have what I would call 'proper ' tantrums. Things like, wants to run over the flowerbed at a park, wants to go outside when we can't right then for whatever reason, doesn't want to leave the park when we have to etc. She will cry and scream like the world is ending, cling to whatever it is she is wanting and if I try to comfort her physically will push me off. I've been dealing with this by waiting next to her and keeping offering verbal comfort, reassertion that we can't do X right now but come on let's make your lunch sort of thing. Basically distraction offering, then in a bit of time she will calm down and potter off to do something else. If I'm somewhere public and its dangerous then I just pick her up and carry her away from whatever it is then distract with something else, that makes her more cross of course, but needs must. Does this sound ok? I'm a FTM if you hadn't already guessed and a bit worried about being either too punitive or not firm enough. Any tips welcome!
LabradorFiasco · 13/05/2022 22:20
Sounds like you’re doing a great job! I recommend the book How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen. It’s a bit American but the principles are solid and some of the words/phrasing are invaluable.
Basically acknowledge the feeling and name it, explain what the problem with the situation is and how you’re going to fix it together. Inevitably, the problem is that we need to being doing X or going to Y now, and the solution is to do what you were going to do anyway! If you’ve got time, it can also be helpful to just sit nearby and calmly repeat ‘DD is feeling [x]. I am going to sit here with you until you’re calm enough to move on. Sometimes it helps us to calm down if we hold hands/squeeze this ball/take deep breaths/have a hug/count on our fingers/whatever’. Calm voice is essential.
It does sound like you’re doing this anyway though. So kudos to you! It’s hard work but worth it even a couple of months down the line when tantrums really kick off and you’ve already got some tricks in your toolbox.
Lottie917 · 14/05/2022 18:01
Sounds like you are doing a good job to me!
My DS is 16 months and has just started tantrumming too but I think it's because he's more sure of things he wants / wants to do but still lacks the verbal communication to tell us and its mostly out of frustration.
I think it's good you're not dismissing how your child feels, you're allowing her to feel and act on her emotions without making them out to be nothing and not meeting her actions with frustration, upset or anger yourself.
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