Some toddlers are just prone to having tantrums. Both parents can seem like relatively calm and reasonable people, but the kid just doesn’t adapt well to new environments, is tired, hungry or intense and wants what he wants, now! This situation becomes increasingly embarrassing and annoying during the holidays when extended families are together and it feels like every set of eyes is glaring your way to see your reaction. You are left feeling like a deer in headlights trying to decide if you should placate the child to get her to calm down, or act more aggressively and potentially deal with major fallout.
Of course, the easiest way out of the scenario is to give the child what he wants. This isn’t a good long-term solution, but in the heat of the moment and in front of multiple relatives, it might seem like the best choice. However, if you are partial to actually preventing this type of behavior in the future, it is advisable to take a deep breath, stay calm and then get down to the child’s eye-level and firmly let her know that tantrums are not acceptable and will not get her what she wants. If the tantrum continues, many child psychologists agree to either ignore her or put her in a time-out until she calms down. The basic guideline for a time-out is the same number of minutes as the child’s age.
At holiday gatherings, situations are often difficult. You have everyone judging your parenting abilities and deciding what they think about your child. The best plan of attack is to do your best to act proactively to help prevent meltdowns. Some popular techniques include making sure that your child gets enough sleep the night before the gathering, is well fed prior to arriving at someone else’s home and understands what to expect during the day ahead of her. Children like to feel like they have control, so try to explain who will be there, when and what to expect to eat and what is acceptable to do before and after the meal. For example, can she bring dolls to play with, color, or play a computer game? Come prepared with appropriate activities. If you notice your child starting to lose it, try to distract by offering to go on a quick walk, play with a dog, or read her a book.
For more parenting advice, take a 6 hour parenting class online as provided by the AJ Novick Group, Inc. Online classes are becoming increasingly popular because they enable busy individuals to brush up on new techniques without ever having to leave the home. These classes are ideal for parents who would like to learn some different or new skills to improve relationships with their children and for the better of the entire family. Classes can be taken entirely at your pace, at any time of the day or night. Clients can login and out as many times as they’d like and the computer program holds the last spot. Choose a course that has an A+ rating from the BBB and is designed and operated by a licensed, practicing family therapist. A good class will also have a therapist available to speak with during the workweek in case any questions arise.
Give yourself the gift of quality parenting advice and education this holiday season. You will be pleased at how applying these new techniques contributes to the successful outcome of your upcoming holiday events and daily life!