Learning to Manage Toddler & Tween Tantrums
Ugh. Tantrums are the Worse!
I have learned that toddlers and tweens are practically the same…when it comes to causing headaches. Throwing tantrums is something every mother dreads. Which is why they are called the terrible twos…but then you get a three-year-old! What’s worse than terrible twos… little terrorist threes! You keep waiting for the moment they will just get better. That day won’t come without a little work from you as well. Or a fairy godmother.
Correcting the behavior consistently is key. It’s never too late. Every kid is different so I don’t guarantee it will work unless you are consistent. You will still probably want to pull your hair out some days. Probably will want to hide in the bathroom for a minute of privacy, but you will be able to enjoy your time with your kids instead of dreading the next meltdown. Debating each thing you do to weigh the likely hood of your toddler or tween getting upset is exhausting.
Toddlers and Tweens throw then worse tantrums. Annoying, whiny, and awful tantrums. If you are a mom of a toddler you probably agree. If you are a mom of a tween you probably agree. These kids think they are the boss but we know the truth. Mom is the boss. Well, we are supposed to be.
Somewhere between 4-8 kids usually become sweet. Maybe it’s because they aren’t babies anymore but are still loving. They still love mom, they want to give her hugs and kisses. Share stories and be silly. Usually, Mom can tell them to do something and reward them with something small and they will be the happiest kid on earth.
A Toddler will throw a tantrum because you wouldn’t let them eat dog food! Random stuff, nothing, everything… it’s Tuesday so I am going to throw a fit! Is mom having a bad day? Let’s spill her needed life support… aka coffee all over the floor. Sound familiar?
Tweens they throw fits over tiny things too. You wouldn’t let them get on the iPad. You asked them to clean up their own mess. Heaven forbids asking them to put their laundry in the dirty clothes basket, and not on the floor beside it. A sibling got something they didn’t. That’s a big no-no. Mom isn’t fair. ( Sorry Kiddo, life isn’t fair) The list of tantrum topics for Tweens is almost as ongoing as the toddlers.
Point is, the same techniques can be used for toddlers & tweens. That’s Crazy? They are so different… but are they?
5 Tips for Managing Toddler & Tween Tantrums
1.) Do not argue with them. Nothing you will say will matter and it will just be a power play.
Stay firm with your decision. For my older kids, I allow them to make a case calmly if they argue. This depends on what I am asking of them. For example, …
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2.) Talk to them when they are calm and so are you.
Let them know you are sorry they are upset, and to come talk to you when they are calm. If they are crying or whining or even cussing no one is going to have a clear head. The likely hood of you giving in to get them to stop is strong. Let them cry, it’s okay. They will learn how to calm themselves down then you can discuss with them a solution to their problem.
For example, let’s say Lincoln wants fruit snacks but he hasn’t eaten anything yet today. I tell him no, and down flops his body instantly onto the floor. Tears stream down his face as he repeats ” futtsnack”. I could give in and let him be happy for a few moments, but I know better. It’s a slippery slope. first fruit snacks then candy for breakfast… who know what the world will become!
I’m kidding…or am I?
I decided against it and let him cry. If he is still upset after a minute or so I tell him I am sorry he is sad but he can have an apple or oranges or … any other real food for breakfast. This always works for him.
3.) Be consistent with expectations and rules.
Be consistent with the rules and make sure to remind your child of your expectations. Which seems easy enough but as mothers, we like to put the blame of their bad behavior on us. Making excuses for the child.
I use to blame the actions of the boy I watched on me. He would act out and I would say ” I shouldn’t have let him have that chocolate milk”, ” I should have stopped him before he got too mad”. These may both be true but that does not mean I am to blame. The child has own choices and should be held to expectations.
4.) Be vocal about your expectations.
The child should know what you expect of them in every situations. If you want your child to remember it will take repeating a million times…but you are use to that already! Before you go into the store, or transition into another task. Remind them
Discuss with everyone that child is around what your expectations are. It takes a village, and your village needs on the same page. No going to dad for something once mom has said no.
Have a sit-down conversation with your partner as well as anyone that child spends lots of time with. Let them know what you are working on and how they can help. Let them know how important it is that they are consistent as well.Trying to tell a grandparent not to spoil their grandchild is hard. There is a fine line between “spoiling” them and ruining all the hard work you have been doing into the ground.
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Collaborating with a separated parent who has part-time custody is a whole other ball game that I do not have the knowledge for. I do have a feeling that will be in a later post as well. Don’t forget to subscribe!
5.) Be positive!!
Having a positive attitude is a must. Redirect in a positive way. Instead of saying ” don’t do that” replace with ” You should go…” this will give them ideas of what they should be doing.
5 tips are not nearly enough to transform any parent to a tantrum master but it is a start.
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