Ohhhh the toddler days. Threenagers. Terrible (or Terrific!) Twos. Whatever kind of animal you’re dealing with you as you go through toddlerhood, I think many of us can relate to toddler tantrums. I am so happy to have a guest post today to offer you some quick tips on ways to defuse a toddler tantrum.
I met Heather through a mom’s group on Facebook. I was desperate for help with Bubby and his napping and she has literally saved me! Once I started communicating with her more through the group, I did what anyone would do and stalked her profile 🙂
I found out that she is an advocate for Love and Logic. I had heard about L and L when I was a teacher and used bits and pieces of the philosophy in my classroom. It never occurred to me to think about using some of those skills when it came time to discipline my son. Just like any parenting advice, you take what you want and leave what you don’t need. Heather’s tips today are ones you’re going to want to add to your toolbox!
Heather has shown great patience with the many moms she has helped through our mom’s group. She encourages you to review what you’re doing and see what works best for your children. I have seen it in her comments to other moms over and over. If you are interested in more of what Heather has to offer, you definitely should check out her Facebook page she has listed below.
If you are interested in knowing more about Love and Logic, this book is a great starter that introduces the foundation of its philosophy. I’ll let Heather finish the rest!
PARENTING & CHOICES: The More Control You Give, the More Control You Get
It’s split in the parenting world about what parents think of giving children choices. Some parents feel like it creates choice addiction, or that kids should just do as they’re told. Others believe giving choices empowers children in the decision-making process, thus creating a more cooperative child.
Giving my children choices is my secret weapon. I’m a mom of two energetic, brilliant, and some may say strong-willed (gasp!) children, ages 3 and 22 months. I am also a facilitator for the Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun Curriculum. I have enjoyed presenting a different way to view parenting and giving parents simple tools that are life changing.
Choices is one of those tools.
The interesting thing about control is the more you give, the more you get. The more control you can give your toddlers, the less likely they are to experience tantrums from feeling “powerless.” The reality is, picking their own color of cup or deciding if they want to skip to the car or sing to the car as you leave the library, can empower your toddler while defusing a tantrum.
So how can we as parents use that to our advantage? The secret is giving your child small choices throughout the day so you can make “withdrawals” on the larger issues. However, things can go very wrong if choices are not used properly. Here are a few quick tips you can start using now to reduce upset toddlers.
Give 99% of choices when things are going smoothly. Don’t wait until all hell has broken loose at bedtime to start giving choices!
Provide choices on issues that are not dangerous or cause a problem for any else. Always provide two choices that you can live with.
If the child does not choose in 10 seconds, choose for the child. For example, if your child hesitates too long when asked, “would you like milk or water?”, respond, “looks like milk.” Pour the milk. So what happens when the child throws a major fit because you chose? No problem! Respond with a simple, “I know, it’s hard. I bet next time you’ll make a fast choice!” And move on.
It never fails that your child will want to choose the invisible “Option C.” Respond by repeating your choices and choose for the child if no appropriate choice is made.
There’s two types of choices I have pinpointed- choices that really don’t matter to you, the parent (“red cup or blue cup?”) and choices that are preceding a power struggle. Make sure you try to include similar styles of choices throughout your day! Then when you know certain situations are always power struggles, start out with a choice. “Time to take a bath! Do you want to hop like a bunny to the bathtub or crawl like a bear?”
When I do this in my home, I can actually see my child’s brain go from “NO!” to actively thinking about which choice he’s going to make.
Brainstorm choices ahead of time so you will be ready when the situation arises.
Here’s a few ideas for choices you can incorporate in your daily routine.
“Would you like milk or water with breakfast?”
“Are you going to put your shirt on first or your pants on first?
“Are you going to wear your red shorts or your blue ones?”
“Do you want a story before bed or no story?”
“Do you want your night-light on or off?”
“Do you want to — now or in 2 minutes?” (This is a great choice for transitions)
“Do you want to walk to the car by yourself or do you want me to carry you?”
“Do you want to hop like a bunny or crawl like a bear to the bathroom?” (Get creative!!)
Go ahead, offer your child some choices and watch your child’s face light up as the ball is in their court! I’d love to hear some testimonies of how choices have worked for your family! To catch videos and tips of me using L & L with my kids, be sure to check out my Facebook Page.
I’d love for you to stop and post any success you’ve had to encourage other parents! Also, you are welcome to contact me through my page with any questions about parenting struggles you’re facing.
As always, let us know any tips or successes you’ve had in the comments below!