Tantrum is a normal behavior in the healthy development of a child. It is an immature way to negotiate their wishes when they still don’t have the necessary emotional control to navigate certain situations. This part of the brain that controls their impulses is still developing and especially during these challenging times in which we are living, with a whole lot of sudden changes in their routine, the little ones don’t quite understand what is happening and tantrums may intensify.
“Adolescence the baby” or “terrible twos is the real question!
Dear parents! Please understand this is nothing personal :), and it is not because you did something – well, almost anything you’ll do could cause it, but it is NOT your fault!
It is a natural process, and you don’t have to fix it alone. This phase usually starts around 18 months and lasts until they reach three years of age – the so-called “terrible twos” or “threenagers.” This is the time when the child begins to realize their own wishes and desires, different from before when they were mostly guided by their parents. This is the time they’re “detaching” from parents, claiming independence as they realize they are their own individuals.
There are techniques that help to deal with these reactions in the best way, minimizing the damage. Contributing to the child to develop and be able to negotiate their own wills, without manipulation. You must be firm and establish limits. You must connect and be compassionate with your child because those big feelings are real. Communication is the most effective way, always respectfully, so it is important that only happens once the child is calm. A hug, a deep breath, and a calming word are what you should strive for, followed by an opportunity to allow your child to calm down on their own.
A cozy place to cool off!
A cozy place to calm down helps a lot! You can create a special cozy corner with a fluffy rug, soft pillows, and stuffed animals to help your child calm themselves during a tantrum. Make sure they have their special blanket, or lovie there with them too. Unlike a place for a time-out, this cozy space will help the child to feel embraced and cared for by their special friends. Once they have calmed down, resume the conversation and talk about what happened in very few words.
You need some wisdom here to prevent you from giving in to your children’s demands during a tantrum. One of my favorite Discipline Positive authors – Dan Siegel and Tina Payne said it best – “Never negotiate with terrorists!”
Young children don’t know how to deal with their wants and needs, and they can manipulate parents, oh, so well! We must, therefore, be firm with our boundaries and guidance.
Many parents have difficulty in establishing boundaries and setting rules, and I understand that it can be very difficult to be firm with those we love. But this is also necessary for their development, in the same way, we cannot deny affection and love, we can’t deny them discipline, which, in fact, means teaching!
If we want our children to be resilient, have good emotional intelligence, and learn to manage their feelings in difficult moments, we need to remain in charge by helping them acquire the necessary tools to cope with challenges and not by giving in to all of their demands.