Ever wondered why you don’t get attracted to that ‘red’ colour balloon anymore, why those soap bubbles being blown by the friendly vendor don’t excite you? Why don’t you feel an urge to start jumping when your favourite advertisement appears on the TV, ever felt the attraction towards that all-time strawberry ice cream cup diminish?
The impulse and events that excited you once (not so long back) are replaced by cool demeanour, peals of laughter at the hint of oft repeated joke have been replaced by a straight (but feigned) smile. Surely, you have moved on beyond the usual, not-my-type-anymore activities. You have grown up and therefore feel to be bound by the order of the world. But what if, the world had no order? What if entropic euphoria was the paramount in overall decisions?What if the childhood diffused into childishness?
Tantrum during childhood is a part and parcel of growing up- an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration that looks completely illogical now as grownup. There will be mothers telling you how well-behaved their kids are as they never throw tantrums. Breathe, chill, relax all mothers sail the same boat. When a child is concerned there are good days and not-so-good days. Yes, it is true that few toddlers may throw less tantrums but don’t lose your cool.
Tantrum is very common in children when they are acquiring new skills like social, emotional and language. Toddlers learn and understand a lot more words than we think they can. Have you ever noticed that your child uses the same cuss word when she is upset, the one that you used when you were driving and something happened?
Tantrums may be due to power struggle as the child is curious to learn and do everything independently but cannot. Most of the time meltdown is because they can’t express what they feel or want and that it is their pent-up frustration. Tiredness and hunger can be also be the reason as well.
Temper Tantrum is a Cakewalk: Tips to avoid Tantrums
1. Consistency is the key
Plan your child’s daily routine. There can be reasonable limits when you waver but try to follow it consistently. However, consistency does not mean same. For instance, the child should have breakfast at 8am but it has to be different every day. From much abhorred Upma to much adored cake, the range and variety has to be there. The child has to expect the unexpected and therefore her curiosity will arise. One fine day, she might surprise you by telling her preferences too.
2. Identify the Triggers
Avoid places or situations that trigger tantrums. For instance, going for shopping during her nap time or making her sit through a tearjerker of a movie is a strict no-no. However, do make sure that it is not because of hunger.
3. The louder, The softer
The louder your child yells, the softer you should speak. You will be surprised too see that they will end up matching your volume.
Reinforce positive behaviour that you want your child to remember and repeat.
4. ME Time
At times, its better to let them vent out their frustration in a non-destructive way. Don’t you have an urge to vanish from the scene or carve solitude of your own at times? Why can’t she not have the similar urge? Ignore it completely and explain things when they are in a better mood.
5. Help Yourself 1st
Even an airhostess tells us to secure our oxygen mask first before helping others. It’s not easy but don’t lose your cool. Don’t add fuel to the fire and act as irrational and irritable as your child or worse still start a shouting match.
6. Positive Affirmations
Always encourage and praise your child when she is doing things right. Let them understand the difference between good and bad behaviour and the desire to earn rewards.
7. Role play
Revolve a story around how their favourite cartoon character like Peppa pig does certain things, certain way. How Peppa would have acted in a similar situation.
8. Yes Mom
Ankita is a Yes Mom, she says Yes to most of the things that Anshikha wants to learn and explore but when Ankita says NO Anshikha listens because Ankita doesn’t bombard her with NO.
‘Be like Ankita…
Be a YES MOM…
Say NO to NO…’
9. Involve and Engage
When your child is having a meltdown distract her with a toy, a story, puppet show or her favourite snack. Children have short attention span and can be easily diverted with some fun activity.
10. Jadoo Ki Jappi
Not only Bollywood but Researchers believe in the Power of Hug as it alleviates stress, anxiety and depression. Mumma don’t we still long for our mother’s hug in worst of time. Just make them realise you care and are always there.
11. Reward them
Incentives work even for us so why not for the little ones. Reward them for doing things right. Something as small as a chocolate, a drive or a balloon can do the trick. Treat them with their favourite snack to reinforce positive behaviour.
Tantrum in category: Green, Yellow & Red Flag
Tantrums are a part of growing up. Wasn’t a red colour balloon meaning the world to you especially if our friend had it and green meant nothing. Over the time we learnt such small things don’t matter.
But your little one is too small and for her smallest thing matters. Relax …you have to just make understand that green is as good as red. A little meltdown is fine if they are ready to listen. Divert them to something else.
She likes the red balloon and will cry her heart out until she gets it.
Stay calm and do what works to distract her. If she is still throwing tantrums tell her how much Peppa loves football and change the situation. Involve and engage her in a new game.
If she is always throwing tantrum to visit a particular toy shop during shopping. Stop going to that mall/market for a few days till she realises that you won’t visit that place again until she stops throwing tantrums.
Consult your Doctor if
• Tantrums are frequent and intense.
• If the child is hurting herself or the caregiver.
• Not able to calm down after tantrum.
Extreme behaviour sometimes can be due to chronic illness, hearing problem, language delay or learning disability.
You are not alone,
It’s a phase called parenthood.
You have created the best little thing,
And it can never be bad.
You are a supermom,
And supermoms never give up.