Tantrums in Toddlers

Tantrums - What are Parents to Do?

I am a first time parent with a beautiful 15 month old girl who completely changed my life the moment she arrived.  From the minute she was born, my priorities where immediately rearranged with her taking the top spot.

Over the months, I watched in amazement as this precious angel of mine went from a very dependent little being that needed me to do everything for her, to a pint sized person eager to display her own personality.

From a very early age, my daughter was in daycare as I, like most working mothers was required to return to work.  At this stage, I must say it was more stressful for me as she essentially chose the daycare she wanted to attend.  Our strategy in the daycare selection process was to visit all and despite her age of 3 months, take our daughter with us.  This strategy really paid off because at 3 out of the 4 daycare centres visited, my daughter had no interest whatsoever in being held by any of the nannies.  At the daycare chosen however, she was out of our arms in no time and showed no interest in leaving the nannies....to this day I do not regret the decision as all of the nannies are older more experienced women who have been working in the field for a number of years.

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand....

So from being in daycare from an early age, I found that my daughter had a very sociable personality and was usually fairly relaxed.  Although this has not changed, she has recently developed a bad habit that all children develop at some point in their life.  This habit is the throwing of temper tantrums, especially if things do not go her way.  Now, I've noticed that my daughter can be very stubborn and is very determined and somewhat assertive even for a child barely past 12 months; but this stomping of the feet, falling to the floor and crying when things do not go her way is a real parent tested.

So, before going crazy, I decided to do some research into temper tantrums and dealing with them.  to avoid repeating information already available, I will simply say, that tantrums have been found to be the way toddlers express their frustration at failing a task...well I can understand that...

From my experience, I have noticed that my daughter craves attention when throwing a tantrum, she always starts to cry, but seeks comfort and hugs...so what do I do?  I don't initially shower her with attention, because then she will grow to think that throwing tantrums give her what she wants.  Once a tantrum has ensued, I make my screaming little bundle undo any mess she has made or collect any item which may have been thrown to the floor in a fit of rage.  Once that is done, she is required to sit in time out for at least 2 minutes.  After the allotted time has passed, she is loving embraced where I gently explain that tantrum throwing is not the correct way to behave.  Even at 15 months I know that she understands what she is doing and what is being said. 

In time, I will know if this was the best method for dealing with tantrums and their drama.

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