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How to Tackle a Tantrum

April 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 152

Who of us has not witnessed or been a victim of a toddler's tirade? Rest assured these mini-meltdowns are a part of normal toddler development but they can do much to send parents into an emotional spiral. Your instincts as a mother are the best gauge when it comes to your son's habit of banging his head. Be mindful that he does not approach sharp edges, corners or other danger zones during these tantrums, and you should be fine.

These tantrums stem from frustration and are a reaction to strong emotions. They come at a time when little ones understand more than they can express with words. Just imagine how frustrated you would be in a country where no one spoke your language but you desperately needed to communicate something! That is how your son feels every day.

Here are a few tips to keep both you and your toddler sane.

1. Fill his emotional tank throughout the day with hugs, smiles, and one-on-one playtime. A toddler who has had your undivided attention for part of the day is less likely to strike an attack.

2. Try anticipating the triggers, which may include hunger, boredom, fear and tiredness. Also, consider the toddler when a long day is planned by bringing snacks, a favorite toy, blanket or book.

3. Remember, don't feed the tantrums. The more attention you give to them the more frequent and explosive they will become. When a tantrum ensues give as little eye contact as possible and ignore the behavior.

4. You may have to remove the child from the area to keep him safe.

5. Solicit the other parent or another caregiver to takeover for a brief moment if you need to collect yourself and count to 10, 20 or 100.

6. Encourage your child to use their words to express their feelings both during and after the tantrum.

7. Give attention and praise to good behavior and ignore less desirable ones.

8. When its over--remember lots of love, hugs, and kisses.

9. If the problem continues beyond what is reasonable, consider that something else may be going on or their may a serious developmental disorder. This is usually not the case is is very rare.

10. Be strong and don't give in. Once the fretfulness has resolved, remember to give lots of eye contact and attention. Don't hold a grudge about the mini meltdown. Smile and move on to the next challenge.

Shontae Buffington, MD, FAAP Excerpt published in The Tennessean Jan 3, 2012

Source: EzineArticles
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