Tantrums are a daily part of mom life. They just are. Toddlers are tiny little humans trying to find their way in the world. They are trying to figure out life just like the rest of us. The difference with a toddler, especially a young one, and adults is that they don’t have the tools that an adult has. Little ones don’t have the capability to process things the same way an adult does. As you read this, just remember. I am a mom, and I am human. I lose my patience, a lot. Some days I swear I can feel smoke like a cartoon character. I’m writing this on a good day. My daughter has been happy all day. We got coffee and books from the library, and today is good. Keep that in mind as you read how picture perfect this sounds on paper (well screen). This is just how I keep from losing my cool.
Try to imagine life from an toddler standpoint.
You see something fun. You want to touch it and learn what it is, but every time you get close, someone tells you no. Then they keep talking in a language you don’t understand. All you want to do is play with the fancy thing on the table, but you keep getting in trouble. So you cry because you’re in trouble or just had something taken away from you and you have no clue what the reason is. We as adults forget to view things from a child’s perspective. They don’t know things that we do. They haven’t learned what we learned. This is our job as parents. To teach them, be patient, and try to ride the waves with them.
Toddlers also do not know how to control their emotions yet.
They have no idea what to do with all the feelings that they have. They basically just keep boiling over the pot and don’t know how to turn the stove down. This is a learned skill we need to teach them. This is a skill that takes forever. Then they turn sixteen and hormones take over so parents basically need to start over with new life lessons. Haha, but really though. We need to understand the basic development of a child’s brain before we can begin to understand what a child is thinking. So for us non-psychologist parents, we just need to do some reading and keep the patience. Try to understand where the feelings and tantrums are coming from and go from there.
My easiest way to cope a toddler temper tantrum is to remember how small their lives are. Parents have bills, work, stress, friends, foes, mostly a whole bunch of things to worry about. Toddlers do not. Toddlers have their crayons, their family, maybe some friends if they go to daycare, but mostly their circle is very small. So to us it is ridiculous that they are screaming over getting the blue cup instead of the red one. But to them, that is a big deal. That is literally the major problem for the day. In perspective to us it’s silly, but that is because we are comparing it to our adult lives. We are not relating it to the life that they have.
I will give you my best/favorite example.
My daughter was sweeping the floor with my broom. She was like 14 months old. Naturally, she was pushing the broom. The end of the broom got stuck on the lip between the living room and kitchen. She lost it. Full out lost it. Tears pouring and screams to beat the banshees. She threw the broom down and ran over to me. I did my best not to laugh. This was such a silly thing to be screaming about. Just pick the broom up over the quarter inch gap and keep going. But, to my daughter, she had no idea what to do. All she knew was that the broom was going smoothly and now its not. So instead of laughing (hard) I showed her to lift up the end and she could keep going. The tears stopped and she was happy sweeping again.
The basic point of this is to be understanding. We get so wrapped up in our daily hustle, that we forget the basic needs that our children have. We forget how small their minds are and how much they still have to learn. We all get lost some days. Some days are definitely better than others. So, take your day one block at a time. One task at a time. Once bedtime hits, grab your wine, movie, book, chocolate, or whatever you need to just remember that the tiny humans need us. And one day, they won’t need us anymore and we are going to miss watching them grow and learn. One day, they will teach us lessons and not the other way around.
How do you deal with tantrums in your house? Have you tried talking with your child instead of just reacting, did it go well or no? I’d love to hear your NICE thoughts.