If you were to review my most common search results, you’d think one of two things: 1) This woman must be in a crap place in life because she’s always searching for positive quotes; or 2) she’s got a monster toddler that would lead anyone to a drink addiction.
Honestly, only the second guess would be pretty much on the mark.
V is terrible. She throws a tantrum for just about anything. If we ask her to play with her toys, she screams that she doesn’t want to. If we ask her to go outside in the backyard because it’s a nice day, she throws a screaming fit and acts like we’re sending her to the Front. The only things she likes to do is eat and eat.
V LOVES food. She’s as thin as a rail, but this girl can sure put away enough to make a 200 lbs adult man wonder where, when, how, why, and huh.
But when it comes to dealing (or not dealing) with toddler’s meltdowns, how are we to cope? Other than, of course, just bribing her with copious amounts of calories so that I can just roll her into her bed, I did some research on what’s a mother (or father, or grandparent, or any adult) to do?
These are the fruits of my, daily, online research.
Find out what kind of tantrum it is
I can’t say more about how much I adore Dr. Sears. Apparently, my mom used to read his books when I was a kid to understand me more. Fast forward 3 decades and I’m reading his articles online to understand my own child.
Dr. Sears basically says that there are two types of tantrums: manipulative; or frustration-based.
If it’s a manipulative one, you will just have to “fight through that s**t” (in your best Jules Winnfield voice). However, if it’s a tantrum based on a frustration, then it would be in both you and your little maniac’s best interest to find out what is frustrating them.
Simon says, “Time Out”
When your toddler has a complete, Mommy Dearest-esque, breakdown sometimes it helps to just put their butts on timeout. First, you’ll obviously need to hide the wire hangers, but you already know that.
Now, I’m not saying that you won’t need to forcibly keep them there, but it’s best to just use one hand and hold them down gently by their abdomen. Get their attention, continue to speak to them calmly, and take deep breaths with them until they’ve gotten ahold of themselves and they can actually hear you.
“Hear No Evil”
When I’m truly at my end, I just turn around and don’t give her any attention. This works wonders if you can (ruthlessly) white noise your child’s screams. Of course, make sure that they are safe and can’t be harmed, and once you’ve made sure they’re safe, just simply ignore them.
When they see that they’re not getting anything from their tantrum, they move on to something else.
But what won’t work?
From everything that I’ve read: giving in, mimicking the volume of your toddler, spanking, throwing away all their toys, or hugging them will truly stop the tantrum, and let’s be honest, all you want to do is stop this shouting and crying.
It’s very tempting to just pack it in and fly away to Bali, but who’s got the money to do that? I know that I don’t.
The major takeaway that I can impart on you is that you’ll have to pick your battles and for those that you’re willing to fight, you’ll need to incorporate an explanation of why and how you have come to your decision. Otherwise, your sweet little Chuckie doll won’t understand.
So, in closing I’ll share a photo of V being a sweetheart…this is like a photo of a unicorn by the way.