Just got my weekly email from the BabyCenter about my child’s development:
“It will be a year or two before your toddler leaves most of his tantrums behind. Until then, expect to deal with outbursts of anger and frustration on a regular basis. You can cut down on the frequency of tantrums by making sure your child gets enough sleep and eats well during the day. It’s probably unrealistic to expect your energetic toddler to sit still for three square meals a day, so try giving your child a variety of foods throughout the day. Remember, a hungry, sleep-deprived toddler is a meltdown waiting to happen.”
Yes, you can say that I am now dealing with temper tantrums. I wasn’t aware that this kicked in until 2 years of age. This morning my son was standing up on a rocking chair in our apartment and hanging over the side – an accident waiting to happen! I gently removed him from what he was doing. This resulted in an immediate meltdown coupled with two smacks to my head! My wife pulled our son away from a danger spot yesterday and received a hair pulling with so much angst she said it hurt. Do we babyproof our apartment so much so that every inch is perfectly safe or do we try and instill some education to our son on what is safe and what is dangerous?
Overall, our son’s recent meltdowns and lack of sharing has become embarrassing. Just last week, we were playing together in an indoor playspace at a local children’s venue. My son was excited to go up the three steps of a ladder and head down the slide. To his amusement, he kept repeating this over and over again. Enter another child to join in on the fun. My son had no patience or desire to share this slide with another child. As soon as this other child tried to climb the stairs, he would push them out of the way. When I held my son on the side to give the other child a turn, telling my son to watch them to see how much fun it is, he started screaming. I did not give in, I just dealt with it. He needs to learn to share, but it’s embarrassing and frustrating (for both of us).
Here is some more general wisdom from the The BabyCenter about taming temper tantrums:
“Quick! What’s the quickest way to stop a tantrum? Cave in to your toddler’s demands, right? Now, what’s the best way to guarantee that the tantrums will continue? Same thing. If you reward your child for “stopping” his tantrum, he’ll figure it out pretty quickly. And he’ll have tantrums just so he can get what he wants. But if you simply ignore the tantrum, which may be difficult to do sometimes, he’ll learn just as quickly that this behavior doesn’t move you and he’ll likely stop. If you’re in a public place such as a restaurant or store, your best bet may be to leave with him until he calms down.It may help you to deal with your toddler’s tantrums if you understand what’s behind them, at least in part. At 17 months a child may want to master stacking five blocks on top of one another. Or he’s determined to put his own shoes on, to ride his older sister’s bike, or to eat with a fork. When he can’t, he may get frustrated. Tantrums are more likely to occur when your child is hungry, tired, or over-stimulated. Sometimes a tantrum is a plea for your attention: a reassuring hug and your undivided attention can make the storm clouds go away. Tantrums aren’t easy for parents. It can be hard to listen to a lot of crying, or to have your child be angry at you. But tantrums are a completely normal part of toddler development.”
A close friend recommended for me to check out the Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp. I just ordered my copy! Any advice, tips, or words of encouragement from other parents going through this is most certainly welcome?