It seems the little man has reached the terrible two tantrum stage, even though he has only just turned 18 months.
It’s quite a thing to get used to, this quiet and friendly baby turning into an impatient little being with a will of his own. Another lesson to be learnt on the educational journey that is motherhood.
The tantrums started around the time he finally started walking independently. Ewan wants to do his own thing and doesn’t have patience with the grownups. He will play in the garden for as long as he wants and his refusal to come inside when commanded by any adult, is communicated in loud screams, as he hasn’t got the words for a point blank refusal, yet. 😛
One can only guess the outcome of future disagreements once he becomes a fluent speaker. He is already a regular political narrator in baby language. 😛
Dealing with a tantrum (small toddlers)
- The advice we’ve followed so far is to ignore tantrums, which is not always easy when you are in public. Screaming and smacking will only give them the attention they want and lead to more tantrums.
- I’ve also tried diverting his attention, but this only really works during the early stages of a tantrum. It seems to increase his irritation once he is in full blown screaming mode. 😛 The only thing you can do then is to try and stay calm and hope it will pass.
- Don’t give in, because this will teach them they can use tantrums to get what they want. This one’s terribly hard when my little man’s face goes red and his beautiful blue eyes become full of tears. He’s already mastered the art of looking sad and lost. 😛
There are lots of tips floating around for avoiding tantrums. These below seem to make the most sense for small children.
Avoiding the dreaded tantrum
- Make sure your child is not tired or hungry, especially before going out. You might find yourself having to come home. We recently had to leave a restaurant with a tired and grumpy little man.
- Put dangerous or breakable things out of reach. I’m trying my best to do this, as Ewan is sure to throw a tantrum if he gets hold of an interesting object and you take it away from him.
- Make sure they get opportunities to take part in activities they enjoy, which will also release their energy. Little man likes to play outside and also in water. It’s rather difficult to keep him entertained as he gets bored quickly.
- Give your child a choice as to what he/she wants to play with, eat or wear. Ewan couldn’t care less about his clothes, but he’s very particular as to what he eat. He’s a fussy eater, but there is a much greater chance that he will eat something if you give him a few options and leave him to eat by himself.
- Try and keep calm during stressful times and this will set an example to your child to do the same. This is not always easy, especially when you’ve had little sleep. 😛
- Try not to say “no” all the time, as this may make your toddler more frustrated.
- Give plenty of praise and attention for good behaviour and try to ignore the bad behaviour as much as possible.
Sleep deprivation and boredom?
I suspect the little man’s tantrums may also partly be as a result of bad sleep during teething. And boredom. The grownups are simply not always that interesting and can’t always keep him entertained and stimulated.
I’m interested to see how he will progress once he starts playschool January next year…