Ok. We've all been there. And if you haven't, you will be there soon enough! Picture the scenario. Your 18 month old has been opening the kitchen cupboards and slamming them shut, narrowly missing his little fingers on a few occasions. Enough is enough, you very sensibly think. You pull him away from the cupboards, bend down to his height and tell him firmly but fairly "NO!"
Your 18 month old immediately throws himself to the ground. He starts screaming, crying, banging his feet and hands on the floor in anger. Yup. He's having a tantrum. If you're lucky, you'll only experience 3 or 4 a day. Sometimes, it can feel like the entire day is a battle. So here's a few tricks I've learnt along the way to stop you from feeling too overwhelmed by your toddlers tantrums.
1. STAY CALM. He's already in a complete state, you don't need to be too. If you're finding it hard to stay calm, just try to remember what the tantrum was all about. It was likely about something very silly, or something you thought was unsafe. Chill. Your child is testing you.
2. DON'T SHOUT. Worst thing you can do. This is a battle of wills, and you need to win. Come on, you invented these tantrums, remember?! You can handle this.
3. IGNORE. More than likely, your child will give up pretty soon. Especially if it was over something particularly silly.
4. DON'T GIVE IN. Don't give them what they wanted. That piece of chocolate, that packet of crisps. The second you give in, they have won.
5. DISTRACTION. If ignoring doesn't work, or if you feel like you just want to give in and let them do/have whatever it was that caused them to tantrum in the first place, try this. Distract them with something else. Let them... I don't know, wash their hands. Or, give them some saucepans or spoons to play with. You know, something different that's going to distract them or confuse them for a moment.
Most of all, relax. If you do give in, draw a line under it and try not to next time. I know what it's like. I've given in before. The thing is, there is no perfect parent. We all make mistakes from time to time, we all get overwhelmed. And one mistake will most likely NOT destroy your child for the rest of their lives!
Good luck. And follow this account on instagram if you're really feeling alone. It's bloody hilarious! #assholeparents