|The Little One|
My little one turned two a couple weeks ago. Since then he has been a nightmare! For starters, his new favorite word is "No!" Here's how our typical conversation goes:
Although, at this point I want to give up then I tell myself I'm "mommy" and this is my child and we're going to fix this! So here is what Mommy is "trying" to do:
Focus on what my child is feeling, not what I am are feeling.
Psychology 101. I need to remember that he too is human and not the monster child I see him at the moment. Therefore, he is no different when it comes to wanting to be listened to and understood, If I can understand what he is feeling and show him that, it may work!
Make him my little helper.
This may sound funny but children are actually programmed to be helpful and cooperative. Even mine! Giving my little one a special task to do before a tantrum happens may prevent or defuse a tantrum. Plus, he will think he's important and just might ask for more things to do. Which I hope stays with him through his teen years!
Don't give in.
This is the number one rule my mother taught me with my first child. I can still hear her voice echoing in my head whenever I was about to give in with my oldest, "You want spoiled brat boy?" By giving in to this one, he will think it's OK to act like that and thus repeating his "performance" in the future. Just like learning what works, this little one will also learn what doesn't work if I just stick to my guns and refuse to let a temper tantrum sway me!
Another psychology trick! Kids in general are starved for attention and in the eyes of children, sometimes any attention is good attention. Kids prefer positive attention but if they don’t get that, they will resort to being naughty and throwing a tantrum just so they can illicit some kind of response – good or bad! So, one of the best ways is to ignore the tantrum. So I don’t look at, talk to, or respond to my child until the tantrum stops. To seal the deal, then start lavishing positive attention on them the minute the inappropriate behavior ceases. This sends a clear message that good behavior is the only way to get your attention.
As you may have noticed, the word trying is italicized above. Rightfully so, because this mommy is indeed trying to implement some of these tips with my little one. So far, I can confidently say that not giving in and ignoring him have somewhat worked, till daddy gets home of course! I guess I can toss the idea of making daddy the bad guy since my child loves daddy to pieces (and so does daddy). Maybe I should train daddy? Hmm... next blog article?
So, mommies of 2 year old terrors, what are some other ideas to control your child's tantrums? I would love to hear them from you!