Letters of Appreciation

Tantrums - trademark of toddler

They start around the first birthday, but generally by the age of 4, most children have learnt that there are better ways to get what they want. All children are born different: Some are quiet and controlled, with a great frustration tolerance: Others come with a remarkably short fuse. To discipline them is like juggling with sticks of unstable gelignite. You are never quite sure when things will go well and when they will blow up in your face. In the hands of the skillful toddler a tantrum is an art form which can be brought about by a number of different stimuli. Not all tantrums are caused simply by a parent thwarting a willful child in mid-activity. Some come from the inner frustrations of the toddler itself, who is being stirred up, or is impatient with his/her lack of ability. The treatment of the tantrum depends on the age of the child.
The reason for the behavior and where the performance is being staged. In the first year of toddler hood, before the second birthday, behavior often just happens, without much thought or reason. Where possible at this age, it is best to guide, and be gentle. It is different when you have a 3-year old who uses a tantrum to openly defy his/her parents authority. This is absolutely not on. When authority is challenged, the parents must be consistent and stand firm. If a young one becomes frustrated and throws tantrums because he has plans, designs which are way ahead of his technical abilities, then it is not punishment he needs but a helping hand and comfort. Any child who is sick or in a home which is upset needs the gentle approach.

Tantrums - The Major League

The highest quality toddler tantrums come with all the skill of a Broadway stage production: Every detail is designed to elicit the very best audience reaction. Once the tantrum starts, its length and intensity depends on the sort of feedback the actor receives from the audience. Tackling tantrums is easy in theory but never quite as simple in practice.

The 2 year-old music lover decides he/she wants to fiddle with big sister's walkman. This is not wise; you take it gently from your child and place it safely on a high shelf. Explain calmly, clearly and in three words or less why he can't have it. He is not satisfied with the situation.
He ignites his engines and they start to rev up in preparation for take-off. This is a good time to divert his attention. 'It`s dad... he`s home early today`, You say as you look out of the window, `Oh no, its another white ford`.
This hasn't worked. He is now revved up almost to full thrust. Now a tantrum is inevitable. Crash! He hits the deck, arms and legs going with all grunts, groans, hype and genuine hurt of a professional wrestler. Now even the most serene and best adjusted parents are severely stressed. Hands tremble, palms are sweaty, blood pressure has surged, you are close to having a stroke.
This is the time you should ignore, but this is not easy. Luckily it is sufficient to pretend to ignore.
Move away to a different room. Stay calm, don`t fuss, don`t notice, don`t argue, go about your business as usual. Now that the audience as moved away and is ignoring him/her, the faint hearted toddler gives up, waves the white flag, and with a sniff and sob goes for comfort. If this happens, forgive and forget, don`t lecture and be gentle. Don`t be over effusive; after all the victory was the parents and the tantrum must not gain a great reward.