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Terrible Twos are over, my husband commented as we celebrated our son Arjuns 3rd birthday earlier this month. Thats the myth most people have, and I calmly replied, Theres more to it than you thought.
Toddlers begin to understand a lot more of the words they hear, yet their ability to produce language is limited. When a toddler cannot express how he feels or what he wants, frustration mounts resulting in a tantrum- a meltdown response to frustration and intolerance. Every tantrum results from one simple thing- not getting what they want.
What to do if your toddler has a tantrum-
Make sure he doesnt hurt himself, or anyone or anything. Hold him gently on the floor or if he resists, leave him alone on the floor and wait nearby.
Dont lose your calm and scream back- it will do no good.
Dont make him feel punished or rewarded- make him realise that tantrums change nothing.
Talk it over - After the tantrum is over, hold your little one and discuss it in very simple terms with him and help him to put his feelings into words. You can even apologise to him for not being able to understand what he wanted and reassure him that you will try to understand him better next time. Let the toddler know you love him.
How to avoid/ prevent tantrums/ help toddler to outgrow tantrums-
Be a patient listener and take a moment to listen and think when a toddler asks for something.
Dont let him feel ignored. At the same time dont let him feel that his explosion has a desirable effect by giving in.
Be patient and givehim time to settle with this emotional turbulence. With the help of language he will slowly learn to distinguish between fantasy and reality.
Tantrum should be dealt with using empathy and understanding.
Try to head off tantrum inducing situations, if it can be done without compromising ones own limits. If you sense a tantrum is on the way- try distracting the toddler to take his mind off the current situation.
Do not challenge a toddler with absolute dos or don'ts, or be harsh with him.
Offer choices to a toddler whenever possible as he is in a phase of becoming more independent.
Give the toddler a chance to adjust to a change instead of reacting, by giving a gentle heads-up before a change.
Although tantrums are a perfectly normal part of the mid-toddler years, keep a watch on your childs behaviour. Watch for signs of stress and seek help if your toddlers tantrums are overly frequent or intense or hes hurting himself or others.
As a mother let me tell you- avoiding a tantrum is not easy. A tantrum is like a sudden storm that can come anytime and anywhere. Deal with it maturely so as to make your toddlers growing phase more enjoyable for the entire family.