6 Secrets for keeping your calm in the HEAT OF A TANTRUM

5 secrets for keeping calm (1)I’ve said before that I totally and utterly get how hard this stage is for parents. My boys had some ‘belters’ of tantrums lasting an hour at a time. Looking back, I probably used to ‘add fuel to the fire’ with some of my reactions. We’re all better in hindsight eh?

Anyhow, years later, further education, lots of reading books and research I am in a greater place to understand what is going on and offer some insight into how you might want to handle this challenging development phase.

One of the things I know lots of you struggle with is keeping calm when the SHIT HITS THE FAN.

So here are 6 things you can do to stay calm in the HEAT of a WAR DANCE…. Hopefully one of them might help you to ride the storm or give you further ideas on keeping your own emotions under control. If you have anymore ideas please feel free to add them to the bottom of this blog to help other parents at this challenging time.

 

  1. Pretend this child in front of you having the ‘screaming abdabs’ is not your child. He’s your friends, so how are you going to handle it, because you sure as hell will have more patience with someone else’s little one than you would your own. Stay calm by thinking about how you would react if this was your friends little one.
  2. You’re in the middle of a busy shopping centre, surrounded by onlookers all waiting to see what you do. Would you totally loose your shit like you are inclined to do at home?
  3. Remember to tell yourself that where ever you are and whatever you’re doing IT’S OKAY that your little one has tantrums. It’s perfectly okay and a normal part of development.
  4. In the heat of a tantrum your words wont ever be enough. Your little one has reached the point of ‘no return’, his emotions are up on the ceiling somewhere, your words will be wasted. he’s untouchable until he calms down. So, don’t stress yourself trying to talk to  them, save it for when they have calmed down.
  5. Tell yourself that it’s ok for this emotional storm to happen. It’s ok for the tantrum to happen? Consider is your little one tired, hungry? Angry that he can’t have or do something, that’s ok. Don’t enter into the battle, don’t react. Just keep telling yourself it’s ok and reassure your little one too that his feelings are okay. Whatever and however he is feeling it’s ok to feel as he does. Tell him that. Showing emotion is ok.
  6. If or when you loose ‘your shit’ it doesn’t matter, your human, forgive yourself, we’ve all done it and we’ve all been there.

    Need some support with this? Someone who totally understands how you feel and can provide you with some practical steps? YOU CAN  eliminate, avoid and reduce MELTDOWNS/TANTRUMS/TERRIBLE TWOS ever happening in the first place.

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    Shellie x

Am I Destine For Tantrums With A Strong Willed Little One?

stron willed
One thing is for sure every child has tantrums BUT some are more prone to these massive outbursts than others.

If you’re the mummy with a little one on the receiving end of tantrums day, after day, after day, I’m totally with you. Your little one often gets referred to by others  as a ‘Spirited or Strong Willed’ child, oh yes that was me too.

  • You find yourself looking around and wonder why on earth it’s only you that seems to be driven to the edge of distraction by these daily (sometimes hourly) tantrums?
  • You ask yourself why it’s seems that it’s only your little one who’s prone to these ballistic tantrums?

  • You wonder why it’s only your child who turns into a raging monster at the drop of a hat?

  • You wonder why you can’t calm your little one down when the shit hits the fan?

  • You wonder why you can’t stop these frustrating, humiliating and embarrassing tantrums?

I know these ‘full on’ temper tantrums totally wear you down. You feel emotional drained, desperate for them to stop, for a break, for some normality. To enjoy time with your little one again instead of feeling on the edge of a blooming break down.

Temperament, what is it and why does it matter?
Well I’m gonna tell you why your child is having these emotional outbursts and why they seem much worse than other little ones tantrums. The answer is your child’s individual TEMPERAMENT!

So your little ones temperament ‘in a nutshell’ is the way he or she reacts to the world. It’s the way they approach situations and react to stimuli. Research suggests that different traits make up your little ones temperament including: Level of activity, adaptability, responsiveness and reactions to new situations, mood and sensitivity.

Temperament is innate, we’re born with our temperaments. Temperaments don’t change and your child’s temperament greatly affects and dictates your experience of parenting and the decisions you make. So if you’re blessed with a little one who has a strong will, then you can bet you are likely to be met with more challenges that a parent who has a little one with an ‘easy going’ temperament.

So why is it important to understand Temperament?
Understanding your little ones temperament will help you to, in time gauge their reactions and behaviour. As a parent we can learn to anticipate behaviours before or when they are likely to occur. This in turn will help in reducing the likely hood of some of the tantrums. Watching for the triggers in our little ones and trying different approaches, adjusting daily routines to help.

It’s also really beneficial to be aware of your own triggers. Learn to identify and work out how your reactions influence your child’s tantrums and behaviour because they can.  Potential our behaviour to a tantrum is like ‘adding fuel to a fire.’ I know from personal experience, believe me.

Very relevant and important though is to cut yourself some slack and stop blaming yourself for not being able to stop or avoid tantrums. If you have a spirited little one they will experience intense reactions and emotions to stimuli. They may be stubborn and know exactly what they want and be unwilling to compromise, persistence (a fabulous quality too I may add!) might be a trait that can sometimes make for a GREAT BIG MELTDOWN…

You wont stop every tantrum. Your child sometimes needs to ‘let rip’ of these emotional outburst. They need to get rid of pent up feelings to release them when they can’t or don’t know what else to do.

All is not lost though, just because you have a strong willed child doesn’t mean you  are doomed to the terrible ones, twos, threes, fours etc. You can work towards reducing, coping and learning from those tantrums. You can acknowledge that your ‘spirited’ child might be more likely to tantrum than your friends simply because of their unique temperament, (and that you are not a bad parent with a badly behaved little one, so don’t feel guilty!) Then you can work on ways to deal with the tantrums when they are happening. Consider what might provoke a tantrum and plan in advance what you can do to help your little one manage the situation. What adjustments might you make?

For example, you may have to adapt your routines somewhat to fit with your little ones temperament. As the saying goes, “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole”.

You might realise that he likes to wear certain clothes and this often causes a blow out on a morning when you’re rushing to work. Consider offering your ‘strong willed’ child a choice around what he wears, even if it’s choosing what colour socks and underpants he puts on. This might avoid tantrum number one of the day.

It might even be helpful to take things one step further and examine your own temperament and the goodness of fit with your little one. Do you like routines but find your child resists? Think about your reactions and how they might be having a negative or positive influence on your child’s behaviour.

  • Do you rush them on a morning? Does that bring on a tantrum?
  • Do you need to exercise more patience
  • Do you expect more from them than they are developmentally ready?

Try to look for the possible reasons your little one is ‘kicking off’ try to see things from their perspective using all the information you have learnt in this blog.

Mostly, don’t blame yourself. As I always see parenting is one great big massive learning curve and there is no one, right or perfect way to parent.

CHECK OUT THE FREE RESOURCE IN THE BLACK BOX BELOW

Shellie x

Why My Head Exploded Mummy – Toddler Tantrums

Tantrum TIP (1)

You just don’t get it. Your little one knows you wont give in to his whining, shouting, screaming and tantruming, you simply can’t understand why he does it. All it serves to do is make you blooming angry. Apart from that, there seems to be no logic to his tantrums sometimes. I mean really, what difference does the blue cup make to the taste of his bloody milk and do the sandwiches taste different if you cut them into squares instead of triangles? 

Well… quiet simply put your child is striving to be independent, make his own decisions, be his own person, which is a good thing right? A normal stage of development. But boy can this stage of development be difficult to manage.

So, when your little darling is in the throws of the ‘ULTIMATE WAR DANCE’,  all they can manage to understand is what they want, they are living in the present moment and can’t see past it. To them the situation is hopeless, they want to make their own decisions and they can’t because you wont let them. How frustrating must that be?

To make matters worse, in the throws of this MAHOOSIVE tantrum they don’t know what to do to calm themselves. They have worked themselves up into such a frenzy of emotions that they are totally out of control.  No amount of soothing and calming with  hugs, kisses and cuddles will work. In fact, it seems to make the situation worse. Why?  

Let me explain.

Well they are totally  unreachable. Their immature little brains are not functioning rationally, they are emotionally unavailable. All they are capable of understanding, is that they are upset and they can’t have or do something that they want. That is as far as their understanding goes. The rational thinking and the logic don’t come into play at all here. They aren’t capable of that.

Using the coping strategies that you use when your child is frustrated or a little bit cross won’t work with the full on intense emotions of a temper tantrum, they’ve gone past that. Your child is up there on the ceiling, unreachable or emotionally unavailable. Nothing, but nothing at this point will get through to them and help them cope with these feelings of what seems like despair to them. They have totally lost the plot.

Think about how you feel when you totally ‘loose your rag’ when you fly off the handle and into the rage of all rages. Can you bring yourself back down to earth calmly and think rationally in a few minutes? How long does it take you to talk yourself down from that highly emotional state, ten, fifteen, twenty minutes perhaps? And you have the vital skills and the capacity to understand what is going on, what you are feeling. You have the powers to look at things objectively and rationally.

Now think about that little person that’s having that explosion. That little person is dealing with such intense feelings, feelings that he doesn’t understand, feelings that he doesn’t know what to do with. He doesn’t know how to soothe himself and bring himself back down from that emotional outburst. So, those feelings are totally overwhelming him. He truly has no concept of these emotions that are out of control and he hasn’t yet mastered the skills of logic and reasoning with himself, he can’t put things into perspective. How difficult must that be?

So what can you do?
Eventually, when your toddler climbs down from his highly emotional state you can offer words of comfort, hugs and kisses. Tell him that you understand how he felt. Explain to him in easy to understand words why he was annoyed. Talk about his feelings, name his emotions. Offer words and sentences that he can use to tell you how he feels. It will all eventually help your little one manage his feelings in later life and have good stress regulating systems.

Work on ways to help yourself stay calm in the ‘heat’ of the moment too, keep reminding yourself what is going on for your little one. Work on ways to prevent and eliminate tantrums before they erupt. Pay more attention to your child’s emotional state, diffuse the whining and whinging before it becomes a full blown tantrum.

After the emotional storm, try to work out what it was that started the tantrum. Was he tired, hungry, overwhelmed, over stimulated, frustrated? This will help you avoid some of the meltdowns. BUT remember, tantrums can’t always be avoided, there are times when they just need to let off steam and that is totally normal.

 

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Shellie x

6 Ways To Stay Sane and Survive MAHOSSIVE TANTRUMS in a Public Place-OMG!

6 ways to stay sane (1)OMG! The shear embarrassment of it all. You’re little one doing a mahossive ‘war dance’ in the the middle of the supermarket. I know, I know, I know, you totally wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole. I know because I’ve been there on sooooo  many occasions!

You can feel, see and hear those eyes boring into you from the ‘People who have forgotten what it’s like to have a toddler BRIGADE.’ Then there’s the “My children NEVER behaved like that (short memories) BRIGADE.” AND don’t forget the ‘Judge and Jury’ BRIGADE either. I know……It SUCKS!

You just want to silence your little one enough so you can get on and finish your shopping and get out of there. You’re only asking for 30 blooming minutes to do the weekly shop.  BUT no, your child has other ideas and is always the one who shows you up BIG time in the flipping Asda! YOUR child is always the one making a holy show of you. It’s so BL_ _ DY frustrating, embarrassing and ANNOYING!

You really do feel like you’re the only one who can’t handle these outburst. Not only is it in the supermarket but it’s every time you go out in public just lately. Your nerves are in shreds. You’re starting to feel less and less confident in your abilities as a mummy and you’re convinced that friends think your little one’s behaviour is appalling. Your about to give up on socialising with other mummies as you just can’t handle these tantrums. Not only that but you simply can’t cope with the emotional upheaval it stirs up in you either. You really have had enough. You don’t feel like anyone really gets or understands how all this is making you feel.

STOP… I do because I felt exactly like you do too, and I wish I’d known these 6 things to easy the pressure.

  1. Remember that it is completely and utterly normal for your child to tantrum. They don’t differentiate between having a big massive wobbler at home or in public. When little ones are struggling with feelings they aren’t able to pick a convenient time to have a meltdown. If they were then they simply wouldn’t be tantruming in the first place. They are simply not able to think or function rationally. They don’t have the capacity at the point they have lost it.

  2. Most people probably aren’t judging you however much you feel they are because most have been there. I used to really empathise with the mummy who’s toddler had lost control because I knew exactly how she felt and it made me feel like I wasn’t the only one going through this stage of development.

  3. Go somewhere that’s a little bit more private and quieter if you can. Away from prying eyes. It will help you to stay calmer and more composed if you have some space because whatever you do, you simply won’t stop a tantrum that has already started. Tantrums need to run there course. There is no point trying to reason with a screaming, out of control toddler.

  4. Try not to compromise a nap, lunch (your routine) for a trip out. You might live to regret it. Hunger and tiredness are triggers for the calmest of children.

  5. Think of ways you can prevent tantrums. Little ones don’t like shopping at the best of times, it’s boring to them. Can you think up some games to keep them occupied? Help mummy find the apples, spagetti, milk. If you anticipate that your little one will be hungry in the supermarket, take a snack.

  6. Lastly, it’s not your fault, your child isn’t misbehaving, your not the only one to ever be in this situation and it is a completely normal developmental stage.

    And another little tip here.

Need some support with this? Someone who totally understands how you feel and can provide you with some practical steps? YOU CAN  eliminate, avoid and reduce MELTDOWNS/TANTRUMS/TERRIBLE TWOS ever happening in the first place.

Check out the FREE SUPPORT IN THE BLACK BOX BELOW.

Shellie x


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