22nd August 2016
Over the safe distance of the Internet, a fellow mum distraught from having just scolded, yelled and slapped her toddler for ‘tantruming’! turned to us anonymous mothers for a vent/cry/quest for advice. She asked what we do when our children lose it over a toy or in her situation, a desire to eat cookies.
The first mum, ‘Lucy’ replies with: When my daughter gets like this I ignore her. Don’t even look at her! It is so hard, especially when they really push you but it does work! X
The second mum, ‘Michaela’ follows up with: I agree I just ignore my daughter she is so testing at the moment everything is a tantrum or it seems to be a constant fight. These toddlers are hard work xx
This was my answer, from the heart:
I never ignore or scream back these days since I found success with a new technique!! Here it is: as soon as Kingsley begins to lose it/tantrum, I immediately bend down to his eye level, hold him, tell him ‘yes, I hear you, I hear you’; ask him what exactly he wants ‘you upset because you want to play with the pens right now?’ And once he says ‘yes yes, through his sobs, I immediate empathize with him ‘ahh yes, how exciting; coloring in with your PENS! I love your pens TOO!!’ And he settles a bit which buys me time. He quietness and I say, let’s go together to find that AMAZING BOOK we read yesterday which you love and I think it is in here, because if I remember correctly the little money was playing with his dolls…’ And on and on I go to divert his attention.
I swear by it: eye level, hugs, empathize, divert attention, give the toddler a chance to explain himself / to be heard. Plus it’s fun, and everyone trusts one another, and minimizes tears.
These fine days, tantrums are rare. Surely it’s because I give Kingsley what he needs and anticipate a meltdown by providing distraction. But I would also like to think it’s because I treat him well and give him the attention he – an innocent I chose to bring into the world – deserves from his Mumma.