“HELP! My toddler is tantruming!”
Oh the whoas of being two. Being two years old means you understand a lot about the world around you and you’re ready to be a part of it. It also means you probably lack the means to communicate your wants and needs as well as the ability to rationalize WHY things need to happen. This makes life very difficult for ALL OF US.
As parents, we want to give our children the tools to help him/her be successful. We don’t want to see our children struggle or become frustrated with a task. If your little one is tantruming, here are some quick and easy tips that may help:
First thing’s first: Determine the Function of the Behavior
WHAT does my child want/need?
If your little one is tantruming to gain attention then it’s best to ignore the tantrum and give the child attention once he/she is calm.
If your child is upset due to a communication barrier (i.e. Cannot say what he/she wants), then do your best to determine what it is he/she wants and teach him/her the appropriate word/gesture/sign for the word. You don’t want to withhold the item until the child says it correctly but try to calmly model how to request it.
When our little friends hit 18 months they hit a very exciting (and healthy) stage of “mine” which can cause tantrums. Often sharing is a difficult and unexpected skill for this age so I try to teach “My Turn” by showing the child the gesture of the palm of your hand to your chest.
This information will not eliminate tantrums for you but it will help you to identify what your child wants and teach them the appropriate method of communicating his/her needs.