Ekta Shah, a Bengaluru mom with two little children, was really hassled with the tantrums her younger daughter used to throw. As she started learning new words and was exposed to new experiences like watching TV and eating ice-cream, the cute little one’s tantrums also increased exponentially! She shared with us the tricks that helped her deal with her little girl’s tantrums. Her tips are very easy-to-follow and highly recommended for every mom in this situation!
Tantrums! Phew! I believe this is a point where a mom loses her battle quite often. If I consider my parenting age (which is comprised of the age of two children) then its 15 years. Now I realized how I can proudly brag about this number on my CV. Ha! But I must say handling tantrums are a new age challenge and there is absolutely no escape for anyone...
You might be winning and breaking records all round the world but the tendency to surrender in front of your toddler is at an all-time high! I could make a video of all tantrums which my children throw in and out and probably will show this to them one day… when they will themselves enjoy watching it! Live examples could be:
- Going flat on the floor
- Making faces
- The mysterious anger look
Unlimited threats from the younger ones
I remember my elder one never had any tantrum and people used to congratulate me quite often for her behaviour. She was very silent and a less demanding child – still is. She was one of those who love even their own company. You just hand over one book and can be carefree for hours. But to my dismay, my younger one compensated it fully! Since the day she learned how to express, and till today, I am still facing her daily dose of tantrums.
- “I want to watch cartoon else I will do this”
- “I want to eat ice cream else I will watch TV”
- “I will do homework only if you will take me out”
Errrr, these “conditions applied” syndrome is getting better day by day with more exposure to new words!
The 4 Tricks That Did The Magic
1. You Are MOM. Do NOT Surrender
Over a period of time, I realized the frequency of tantrums will always go high if you heed those. Sometimes, tantrums are thrown (just) to have special attention towards them! I know how many times I surrendered just to save my self-respect in front of others… But the moment you ignore and start behaving like a normal person they will also come down. After all, I am MOM and once I decide that I will not surrender to her then there is no stopping!
2. Have a Fixed Time For Common Demands, Like Watching TV
Whenever she argued to watch TV, I gave her limited time like – only for 30 minutes – and then she needs to switch it off. She was happy to implement this!
3. Explain The Difference Between 'Need' & 'Want'
When I take her for shopping, I take a promise from her that she will not cry for unwanted things and will not throw any tantrums. A NO means COMPLETELY NO and it will not turn to “Yes” no matter how much you throw tantrums or please us in front of others. I have justified the reasons for not buying everything she wants.
There is always a difference between Need and Want. Like, one pencil and rubber can be a need but not ten pencils at a time. I know every child is different but this worked for me, maybe it will work for you too!
4. After Age 3, Explain 'Reason' To Your Child
I think it's rather difficult to make a child understand when they are too young. Yes, there was the time when she rolled over unlimited times and shouted just to meet her demand. But gradually, with the patience, you can surely make a difference. I managed little with her priorities till she turned three. But after 3 years of age, children can reciprocate in a better way. They get a better understanding with growing age. Now, she throws fewer tantrums and is very much convinced that Mom will not surrender in any way! Read Ekta's complete story here
Ekta found success in dealing with tantrums after she started using these tips. Her kids eventually learnt that tantrum-throwing was not going to get them anywhere! If you also have toddlers at home, tantrums are probably a daily affair for you (unless you are one of the really, really lucky few…) While we realize that tantrums will go down as the kids grow older, it can seem harrowing to deal with them at present. Along with Ekta’s tips, we suggest you also follow these 6 expert-recommended tips to tame the tantrums. They really show effective results as long as you keep doing them consistently!
1. Try NOT To Lose Your Cool
Kids can be very intuitive. If they see mommy losing her cool, chances are the intensity of the tantrum may get higher! Also, as a toddler mom, you will be facing tantrums on a regular basis. It is key to remain calm so you have the energy to deal with them. It is okay to give your kids a time-out or take a breather for a few minutes.
2. Avoid Falling in the Reward & Punishment Trap
Giving your kids a bribe or fulfilling their demand just to make the tantrum stop will only start a vicious cycle. Resorting to punishment all the time is also not a good idea for your child's socio-emotional development. It is best to be very clear that demands will be met only if they are justified. Try to reason with your child, and consider putting off the demand to a later time by saying, "We will think about it next week and see if we still need to buy that toy..."
3. Don't Give In Just To Make The Child Happy In The Short-Term
As mothers, our child's long-term development and behavioural patterns are our responsibility. Wish fulfillment and instant gratification must be avoided unless absolutely necessary!
4. Have a 'Talk' With Your Child
Your toddler is not too young anymore to see logic and reason. Child experts believe that by age 2-3, kids get receptive to emotions and understand reasoning behind different situations. Make sure you talk to your child about his behaviour and what was right/wrong about it. It is best to do this when both of you are in a calmer state of mind.
5. Sometimes, Mommy Can Agree
Occasionally, it is alright to say yes to a certain demand and not feel guilty about it. We all love occasional treats and your kids will really value them too. Just make sure you don't overdo it!
6. Have Faith In Your Decisions, Even If Others (Including Family Members) Disagree
Finally, once you have made a decision about a tantrum - whether to give in, whether to punish your child, etc. - make sure you stick to it. As a mom, your instincts never lie. There may be disagreements about how you are either spoiling your child or being too harsh. Regardless, believe only in your gut feeling as a mother.
Do you also have a tip to tame tantrums in toddlers? What works for your little one? Please share your tips in the comments below; let’s learn from each other!