Thursday, August 4, 2011

Taming The Toddler

Toddlers and tantrums don't mix, I know that for sure. We were having so much fun with Baxter, laughing, giggling, while he was exploring the world around him then overnight our world changed. He found his voice!

Screaming when I leave the room, when he is hungry, wants to be picked up, in the car, when he wakes up and the best scream of all, when he is put to bed. What happened to my little angel?

Poor Tyler doesn't know how to handle his younger brother, he pulled me aside and suggested I use 'time out', I had to laugh because Tyler knows that this method works for him.

I explained that his little brother is simply growing and his little world is changing around him. He is just reacting and finding out how to get what he wants. Not quite so easy for a 4 1/2 year old to understand.

Believe me, this new behaviour is quite a shock to us all, not just to Tyler. We only had dealt with one trantrum during Tyler's toddler years when he was 2, I still remember it, clear as day. He stood in the lolly aisle in Coles and screamed his lungs out because he wanted a lolly. So I calmly placed him on the floor for two minutes (a very long time when you aren't at home) and he soon realised that time out was not just at home and we never had an incident like that again (very lucky).

On the other hand our little treasure has started his tantrums a little earlier and he knows if he cries, screams or yells  that  I react, he has got my attention because I can no longer stand the screaming. I find it so fascinating how a child can be soooo different to his brother, when he has exactly the same parents and upbringing. I have to laugh, I think he came out fighting!

So we are trying a new method called 'distraction'. Anytime I can slightly feel a trantrum coming on I am quick to give him something different to play with, thank god for Midgee Moo. Yes, he is trying and testing everything at the moment! But we also have our little angel back, he is having a wonderful time and he's not silly either, who is the boss of me?

We are also pulling out the tupperware, cooking utensils, fabrics, cotton reels, anything I can get my hands on and having them on hand so if I need to attend to something other him such as  leaving the room or answer the phone, I quickly grab his new distraction and I get at least 15 minutes of calm play from him. We realise that as he gets older that other methods such as 'time out' may work better but at 14 months, he does not get this concept.

We are hoping this is a phase he is going through, not just an excuse to try every item in the house!  I will let you know how this is working out and if this is taming our toddler!

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