Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tantrums, Tantrums, and more Tantrums!!

As mama bear, I can honestly admit that sometimes I don't know what I'm doing. I don't always have things under control. My son DJ began having tantrums at two years old. His fits put the terrible in terrible two's. I was caught off guard because as a first time mom, I thought I had the sweetest baby in the world. These outbursts make me feel anxious and sometimes defeated like I'm failing as a parent. I've read articles online about how to handle tantrums and still found myself pulling my hair with Mr. Personality! So I had to determine what best helps support DJ through his outbursts. These are just a few things that I tried and so far so good.

Pray without ceasing! I pray for patience, peace, strength and guidance. Lord knows I need it! DJ is my gift from God, so I take it all to God in prayer. Like the old folks say, prayer will change things and I have faith in My Help! I now have a peace that surpasses all understanding and DJ has gotten better. Hallelujah!

Breathe and stay calm! 
Don't freak out! He's crying, kicking and screaming enough for the both of us, so it would be ridiculous of me to turn it into a shouting match. He's frustrated or sad about something but haven't quite developed the skills to communicate it all yet. I realize he's just a child who is learning. So I have to approach him calmly, knowing all DJ really wants is for me to fix the situation.

Give him my attention! 
My undivided attention is a must! I can't ignore him or walk away. It will only hurt his little feelings more. He could also hurt himself physically. Then he'll really be crying. Most the time, he just wants me to spend some time with him. So I make time each day to spend with him on the floor doing his favorite activities and games. We dance, read, sing and count. Sometimes I count while he's having a tantrum, and he'll chime in and count with me. Then it becomes a teaching moment. We also record fun videos or take pictures together. He loves it because he's a little ham.  I've even found that recording his tantrums (for about 15 seconds), then playing it back so he can see himself will actually make him laugh. He can't believe what he's seeing and it shows him how not to act when he doesn't get his way. I know him so well and can tell when he's on the verge of having an outburst. That's when I rush in and distract him best I can. I know the things he loves and once he's happy again, cuddles for mommy. I love cuddling with my munchkin! After all, he's still my baby.

Take a break! 
Every now and then mommy needs a timeout. Thank God I have a wonderful support system that I affectionately refer to as my tribe. It's a group of family members who make themselves available to DJ and I whenever I could use a breather. They love some DJ as much as I do. Plus, they understand that I need some me time to avoid any mommy meltdowns. A toddler can wear you out, especially if you're a single parent like me. It's important to refresh and release. Take care of yourself, so you'll be ready and re-energized. DJ needs a happy mommy too! So I make time to do things I'm passionate about that also bring me joy.

In the end, I'm no expert and I definitely don't have all the answers. Every child is different! You have to be aware of their emotional triggers and whether the behavior they exude is due to fear, sadness, pain, anger from not getting what they want, hunger, missing you or simply bad habit. There are ways to communicate with your child and tame those tantrums. Anyway, here are a few links I've found on the web that may be helpful. Best wishes and much love!

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