Do you sometimes feel like your child is having a tantrum for no reason at all? Are they actually UPSET about that tiny little thing? Are they trying to manipulate you? We have answers for you and ways to change the dynamic in your relationship with your toddler or preschool child.
Tantrums at some level are developmentally appropriate for children. We cannot change that. Our reaction can make all the difference as we respond to these big feelings. In our upcoming on-demand release of the mini-course, Tantrum Translation, we will give you the tools to be a detective for your child’s behavior–and start seeing everything as communication.
Here’s a tip to start–focus on putting yourself in your child’s shoes. You might have to get creative here, and think outside the box. What would your child be telling you about this situation if they could verbalize their feelings and desires? Sometimes even verbal children at this age have a hard time talking when they are feeling big emotions.
Gather your list of ideas about why they are upset, and don’t forget to use a combination of your imagination and the facts about what you witnessed. Now it’s time to take your ideas to your child: “oh you are so mad because you wanted the green cup instead of the pink one!” If that doesn’t resonate with them, try another of your guesses–”Oh you are sad because you wanted Daddy to give you the cup, but instead Mommy did.”
Sometimes just feeling heard is what our children want! When we hear them, we remove half the reason for the tantrum itself. Remember, even if they aren’t speaking–they are STILL communicating. There are so many forms of communication our children use, please don’t ask them to “use their words” in the moment. Accepting only one form of communication is the adult equivalent of a loved one saying, “I only accept emails, why did you call me?” Don’t miss the message by focusing on the lack of verbal explanation!
If you are frustrated with tantrums and having a hard time, you are not alone. Being a caregiver of a young child is difficult, but as trained and certified speech-language pathologists, we can help you find the connection you are looking for with your child through all their forms of communication–including tantrums. Just click on the link to learn more in our mini-course, Tantrum Translation, where you can find tips and tricks to understanding your little one through their behavior!