It’s called the Terrible Twos (and sometimes Threes)… it could also be the Feisty Fours and Fives. In my case it’s all of the above- plus the Ornery Ones!
My 1 year old has the worst temper tantrums right now. The kind where she throws herself back on the floor, usually hitting her head, and then screaming and writhing around… even biting if you get too close! If she doesn’t get what she wants or you take something away from her (like the t.v. remote or a paperback book she somehow got her hands on), this is what you’re going to see… it’s not pretty!
And I know for her age most people would recommend the distraction technique- directing her attention to something else. But honestly that doesn’t work for her, she still continues to scream and throw herself around, and it sometimes even makes her more mad. The only thing that really works is giving her what she wanted back to her, of course that’s defeating the purpose of trying to teach her what she can and can’t have. So what’s a mom to do?
Dealing with toddler temper tantrums
Well for starters, buy some ear plugs! Ok just kidding (or am I)- for me it involves a lot of ‘mommy time-outs‘ since I can’t put my 1 year old in one. As long as she’s safe in the room, although she may still be screaming and crying, I remove myself and get some distance. I put some baby friendly toys around her and then leave the room. By just ignoring her and not acknowledging her tantrum, she eventually calms herself down and gets over it.
Of course this works when we’re at home, but what if the meltdown happens when we’re out at the store or at someones house? It’s a lot harder when you have the added stress of other people watching you. In that case, I do my best to find something that she’ll hold onto and that will keep her attention:
- maybe the car keys (of course she could hurt herself or drop them… repeatedly)
- or something that’s already in the cart (just not the eggs or loaf of bread)
- or a toy that I don’t intend to purchase (this usually backfires at the checkout though so try to avoid that option)
- and graham crackers have become my new mommy best friend
If all else fails, suck it up and drive on… ignore the stares and just try to get done as quickly as you can and hopefully you still have your sanity when you get back home!