Calling out all my beautiful mamas of one, two, three or more kids on this one. This is a rough topic, one I certainly hated dealing with until I learned a little game. The first thing that we tend to do when our little one is having a tantrum is react by having our own meltdown, right? Okay, stop! Let’s go back to the beginning for a sec, and think this through. What’s the number one reason all kids throw a tantrum? Yes, you got it! It’s because they cannot have something they want. Am I right? Well, let’s play a little game. The next time your little is having a tantrum do this, instead of that.
- Don’t try to calm them down, instead ignore them. Yes, ignore them. Because if you try to calm them down, you’re giving them more attention and they’ll continue to throw a tantrum. Instead, ignore them completely. Unless, of course, they are endangering to themselves or others. For example, Mateja likes to scream and throw a fit when I won’t let him do something such as throw wood chips at the park. Like, what makes him think that’s okay? There is no rationalizing with him. He is two and a half, and very stubborn (duh! like his mama) but he will not listen. So I ignore him, unless there are kids around. If there are kids around that he is throwing wood chips at I tell him we are going home and start walking towards the car. So far that has worked. Personally, I have no patience for tantrums. It takes a lot of patience out of me not to snap at him at the moment. But then, I remember I need to stay calm as I am the parent in this case, right?
- Give them some space, instead of running to hug them and talk to them.I am a big believer that kids also need to vent and get their anger out. Like when Mateja was upset because I didn’t let him throw wood chips around in the park, and he was screaming. Sure, it’s not pleasant, but I just let him scream it out without making eye contact with him, but still keeping an eye on him. He screamed, realized nobody cared and continued to play like nothing ever happened. This is how they learn to express their feelings in a nondestructive way too. I am all for ignoring them and letting them scream it out, as long as they are not hurting anyone around them. I mean, clearly nobody likes to hear a screaming child, but it’s nothing new.
- Be a true active listener, instead of a pretend listener. And what I mean by that is listen to your little one and what they are telling you. A lot of times they are acting out and throwing tantrums because we didn’t understand them because we failed to listen. Remember how we used to put, active listener on our resumes? Well, can you truly say you are. For example, the other day while we were at the park this girl was trying to rock climb but could not get passed the third rock, and was getting frustrated. She called her mom three times nicely, and her mom turned towards her and knotted her head, but continued to talk to another mom. Now, don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with moms socializing. The girl started screaming because her mom wasn’t responding, then her mom came over and told her that she was in time out, which for her meant she had to sit at the bench for five minutes, as they talked about no screaming in public. Granted, I am not justifying the little girl but at the same time, the mom didn’t respond to her hence, the tantrum.
- Create a distraction, instead of letting them continue throwing a tantrum. Oh this one usually works for me. Whenever Vasilije or Mateja are throwing a tantrum or are even about to start, I am like, “oh heck no” so I will say anything to get them distracted. Such as, “there is an ant on your head”, or “look there is a fire truck coming through”, or “omg there is the ice cream truck” oops never mind, that was just a mini bus! I mean, whatever it takes to get them distracted from having or continuing a tantrum. I am just not the type of a person to deal with tantrums, like zero patience for it.
- Don’t worry about what others think about you, instead focus on staying calm and collected. You’re not a bad mom for letting your little throw a fit, and not do anything about it. Just stay as calm as you can and be cool, but seriously, as if nothing was happening. At least, that’s me. I mean, I am not about to have a meltdown of my own or throw a tantrum myself. I just laugh it off. That’s it. Laugh it off, and move on. Sorry babes, but you’re not about to make this mama cave in to your little games. We all know you’re smart little monkeys, and we love you for that.
Boys’ boots are courtesy of London Littles.
That’s it for now mamas! I have three babes, and with each one I’ve learned something new. Heck, I am learning something new on a daily basis and I think I’ll forever be majoring in Motherhood! It’s not as easy as going to college and getting a degree, there is a beginning and an end. Motherhood has a beginning, but not an ending. Sharing my motherhood moments in hopes of inspiring you and helping you through your journey. Trying to keep it as real as possible, and I know not everyone can relate but this is my story and I want to share it with you, for as long as you want to read 🙂