We have been treated to some epic, and dramatic moments already when it comes to tantrums. Wow, oh wow. As I have mentioned before, either terrible two’s was wrongly named, or we are just being treated to this very early.
There are of course other reasons that tantrums happen, besides not being able to express what they want/need. Independence. Control. Not liking the limits that are being set (being told danger, or no). Over stimulation. The list goes on.
What are we doing to try and tame the temper tantrums that are happening?
We are finding that a huge part of the tantrums are coming down to communication. We are finding that Evie is at a point where she is trying so hard to be able to tell us what she wants, likes, doesn’t like, etc that she is getting very frustrated. She is trying to use her words, which is mostly babbling, she does point at a lot of things now to try and help us understand. We have been working even harder on teaching her baby sign language so that she has more signs to use when trying to tell us something. Baby sign language can be a slow process, but from what I have heard over and over again is that kids reach a point where the light turns on and they realize they can use it to tell us things when they do not have the words to speak just yet.We are trying to give her the words both by speaking them and by signing them.
There are lots of hugs and cuddles happening. Having your emotions go to such extremes can be a lot for such a little person. Hugs are needed. We want her to know she is loved, and that we are there for her even when she is wants to push us away it seems. Holding a sobbing, wiggling, kicking child isn’t easy but eventually her breathing starts to slow down again, and she calms down.
We give her a break, or I guess you could call it a time out. We have set her on the bottom step to sit and calm down, we have placed her in the crib with her stuffed animals. She’ll cry for a bit, she babbles to herself, and she starts to get happier again. It is like she needs that moment. For now we are staying very present and visible to her during these times, we don’t want her feeling alone. This may change as she gets older, having us present may just encourage her to get louder. For now this works.
We’ll change the situation. If everything just seems to be setting her off when we are in the house, we will take her out for a walk, or a stroller ride, so that we can change the environment. Often this helps distract her, and she starts to focus on other things and the new environment. Her attention goes to something else. Getting out, or changing the environment helps us stay calm during these moments too!
Ever heard of being “hangry”? Hungry + Angry = hangry This is what happens to Evie when she is hungry. She definitely gets that from me! I turn into the biggest grump when I need to eat. She is the exact same way. (Sorry hubby!) We recently got her a little lunch box that we are putting into use so that we have snacks or a full meal available for her. This way we know we have healthy options for her too. She loves food, so this has been a huge help to us in preventing tantrums.
We are having to keep our cool and stay calm. Sure we as parents have our breaking points, but this can set little ones off so much more. It is like they have a sense for things like that, it just makes tantrum moments worse. We are reminding ourselves that these moments will pass, it might take a bit of time, but the tantrum will end. We are definitely at the point of figuring out how discipline will be working in our home.