I have read many different parenting articles or blogs that either pop up in my email, or from searching online. There are a million different ways to do certain things or handle different situations. Find one that works and stick with it. Consistency is so important with our little ones.
As Noah gets a little older, he will be 2 years old at the end of January, I have been doing some reading on how to handle tantrums. Here are some of the things that I found and that I tend to agree with.
Bottom line, a toddler is not misbehaving to upset a parent or a care giver. The toddler has BIG emotions and is unable to deal with them yet. Sometimes the toddler is frustrated, upset, hungry, tired, or who knows. They don’t necessarily know how to say that they are frustrated or that they are hungry, so they scream, hit, kick, bite, or throw themselves on the ground. Imagine being in another country, where you do not know the language and you are trying to convey a message. I know that I would be extremely frustrated if I didn’t know how to tell someone what I wanted or needed.
One of the techniques that I read about recently, that I absolutely love is called, “connect and correct.”
If your toddler is having a tough time, connect with them, get on their level, provide reassurance, give them a tight hug, whatever calms them down in that moment. Sometimes if Noah is frustrated, I bend down, give him a tight hug, and take a few deep breaths, this usually works and he begins to calm down himself.
Once they are calm, correct them, explain what happened, whether they hit you out of frustration, or they kicked a toy. Once Noah has calmed down some, we chat about what happened that made him upset, and why it is not OK to hit when he gets mad. I get on his level, tell him to listen to Mommy, and to look at me. This way I know he is focused, not distracted, and can listen to my brief statement.
I keep it very short and to the point because otherwise I will lose his attention.
There is no use in trying to talk to our little ones when they are upset, it is like talking to a wall. That’s why I love the “connect and correct” method.
This is a work in progress, and it is not going to work every single time, but I love the technique and it truly makes perfect sense to me.
Another technique that my husband and I started using, is with transitioning to another task. If Noah is playing with his toys, but we want him to come upstairs and take a bath, instead of walking over to him, picking him up, and having him kick and scream, we simply set a timer on Alexa.
Telling a toddler, “in 2 minutes, we are going up to take a bath,” literally means nothing.
I know that I’d be mad if I was in the middle of doing something I enjoy and then I get pulled from it without a choice. Providing some sort of warning, helps a ton with switching tasks.
By setting the alarm on the Alexa, or some other form of timer, he knows that his time is up, he needs to clean up his toys and head up for the bath.
Again, this is still a work in progress, but he is starting to get the hang of it, and eventually he will understand what “3 minutes” means, or have some sort of idea how long he has left to play with his toys.
There are so many different methods out there, but these are the two that we have been using and focusing on with our little man.