Thursday, 03 March 2011
Well, it's official. My son is now a toddler (minus the walking but we're getting there). I don't have all the pictures ready nor the time to post them at this exact moment, but I promise they'll come. I just wanted to take a few moments to share my weekly news-email that follows along with my son's age and updates me with advice and information on what's up at this stage in his development and life. The week's is titled, naturally, "1 Year Old," and contained the following blurb:TANTRUMS
They can be embarrassing, frustrating, and annoying – but less so if you recognize that tantrums are a natural part of babyhood (and toddlerhood). It's not that your child is trying to be manipulative or malicious with his outbursts. Tantrums signal his frustration when he's having trouble communicating or becomes upset at not getting what he wants. Especially when language skills are still developing and a sense of preference is growing, your child has little choice but to fall back on the primitive "babyish" responses of crying and screaming.
The good news is he'll eventually outgrow this phase. For now, here are a few sanity-saving tips to keep in mind:
Be responsive. Your child develops a sense of self-worth and happiness as you take care of his wants and needs, so it's best to fulfill his "requests" whenever possible and practical. If you can't give your little one what he wants and he reacts emotionally, be calm and comforting. It also helps to offer another option.
Recognize the good. Be sure to praise your child when he's well behaved so that he gets positive reinforcement for good behavior.
Practice prevention. You can prevent some tantrums by avoiding situations that may upset your child or by planning for them ahead of time – for example, by having snacks on hand to avoid a hungry meltdown. Giving your child the chance to choose among alternatives (food, activities, and so on) and minimizing your use of "no" will also help bolster his emotional resilience and stability.
Keep your cool. When your little one is having a tantrum, be calm and neutral about it. If you can, resist giving your child too much attention, which will only fuel the tantrum. Acknowledge his feelings: "Mad? You're mad because you want a cookie?" Then calmly state your rule: "No cookie now, but after lunch." A flailing toddler isn't going to absorb much discussion or teaching at this point.
Avoid arguing with your child – yelling or threatening is likely to escalate the tantrum and frighten him (the tantrum itself may scare your child because he feels out of control emotionally). Stay close to him and hold him if possible. If your child becomes violent, take him to a safe place where he can settle down.
You can read more about tantrums here. I certainly plan to start being more aware of tantrums and how I handle them. Luckily Aiden's fairly easy to read and he tends to be distracted easily, but I know that his turning a year old marks a new realm of testing limits and pushing boundaries. Not to mention there's been quite a few incidents lately of him biting the source of his frustration, be it toy, me, or Grandmama.
I'll wrap this up with a quote and smile from the email:
"Utter chaos. I think those two words best describe my life right now. Things are good but always crazy around here. I spent most of the morning cleaning the house and you can't even tell – it looks like I haven't lifted a finger in months." – Lane
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable weekend and I promise I'll get those pictures from the birthday party up soon!
How do you handle tantrums at home? In public? What's the worst tantrum your child(ren) has had?