Guest post by
The Baby Vine: www.babyvine.com.au
Are we prepared for tantrums?
Tantrums were not a word I thought about pre-kids. I worried about sleep, breastfeeding and nappy explosions, while tantrums were pushed into the back of my mind as a problem to be tackled much later. I then found myself at a supermarket with my darling one year old strewn across the floor mid-tantrum and I wondered, how was I not prepared for this? People told me about the terrible twos and Threenagers… but here was my normally delightful one-year-old testing the limits and I was lost.
So why exactly do one-year-olds tantrum? While they may still seem like babies to you, there is a lot going on in their little heads. They understand a lot, yet many can’t effectively communicate. Simple expressions like telling you they are hot or cold, tired, hungry, and so on, can’t be verbalised. I found with Cassie, if I stayed on top of all her needs and was aware of them, it was easier to prevent and avoid some of the tantrums – but not all.
Reasons for a toddler tantrums
One is also the age many babies start testing the limits. We were starting to say no to Cassie a lot more. When she tried to take the remote when she stuck her hand in the garbage, when she ate something she shouldn’t off the ground, when she tried to climb on something she shouldn’t. It was a new word for her, so she would try and test the boundaries with it. Often, she would look at us to gauge how serious we were and then test the boundaries as she went. We let Cassie push, it was only natural for her! Then we would remove her from the situation and tell her no again, and explain why.
Another reason for tantrums is out of frustration. One-year-olds are beginning to get their independence and finding there are plenty of limits to this. They want to practice their walking while we want them to go in the pram, they want to feed themselves while feeding them is easier for us. I started presenting Cassie with choices. The pink cup or the green cup? Sitting in the pram or the carrier? They let her feel in control when I didn’t mind the outcome, so it was a win-win for us both.
Of course, some tantrums aren’t avoidable, and as I stood there in the middle of the supermarket, I pulled out my phone and snapped a shot. If I couldn’t laugh, then I would probably join her!
Do you know how to deal with tantrums? Share with us your experience 🙂