Here Comes a Meltdown!
Does this sound familiar? As you are trying to help your two-year-old get dressed, she decides that she does not want to wear her socks today. When you insist on putting them on her feet, she starts kicking, crying and shouting no. And you think…”Here we go again!”
Although temper tantrums can be difficult for both you and your child, it is important to remember that they are very normal for a child at this age. Often children are caught between wanting to be independent “big kids” and wanting to still be your baby. Many times a tantrum is sparked by a child not being able to communicate what she wants, feeling frustrated when learning new tasks or when she does not get her way. But remember, it is our job as adults to support the children during these difficult moments. Here are a few tips to help prevent or to help you get through a temper tantrum:
- Always stay calm...the more upset you are, the more upset your child will become
- Offer age-appropriate activities that are challenging, but doable. This will help to prevent frustration.
- Try to intervene with help before your child becomes upset.
- Set firm and consistent limits
- If your child is not hurting herself or others, it is okay to ignore the tantrum. You can say “I know you are frustrated right now, but I can’t help you until you stop kicking and screaming.”
- Don’t try to talk through the problem until your child calms down.
Don’t be afraid of a tantrum. They will happen. It is more important for you to handle them appropriately and to stick your limits. It will help your child develop self-control, which is an essential skill for success!