Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How I Try To Survive a Toddler Meltdown

Attitude for days... 

Some time during his 17th month of life Jack went from being the sweetest and most cuddly little boy to a fiery, "NO" screaming and temper tantrum filled maniac, most days! He is becoming his own person. He knows what he wants and when he wants it. I think I have a real strong willed kid on my hands. I'm totally ok with it. But for now, the tantrums, holy cow, I can't believe how quickly the toddler tantrum thing happened. I also can't believe how caught off guard and unequipped to deal with them I was.

There are a few things people have told me on how to deal with Jack's tantrums. I have tried to use the "Gentle Parenting" method in almost everything I do with Jack. Although this method often blames the parents for the meltdowns. Like I need more stress thinking I'm not a good enough parent?!?! I have a temper although not when I was a child. I have adult meltdowns so I try not to blame Jack. Jack has also began hitting. I hate it. It is often only towards me. I get so upset and think he hates me. Most times I try and immediately redirect. I redirect by quickly asking him for a hug. I ask him to gentle touch. Almost always this method works. We have also began requesting him to say "I'm sorry". It seems to work well but I tell ya it is the saddest thing to hear that little voice say those words.

I get what it's like to be frustrated and feel like there is no outlet for his frustration. Jack has a pretty large vocabulary but he doesn't always have the words so it must be so hard. I attempt to calm him I try and offer support. I often ask him to "show me" what he wants. There are times when he is told no. Like last night when he refused to sleep and wanted goldfish because he saw me putting away the bowl he usually has his snack in. When I told him no he had an all our meltdown. Screaming at the top of his lungs. It was late. I was tired and I gave up and walked away from the screams. He was in no danger of hurting himself. He was just laying on the kitchen floor, overtired and a screaming his bloody head off. This completely goes against the gentle me. He calmed himself after only a couple of minutes. I think it was harder on me than it was on him.

What I learned from last night was that no real method works all the time. Sometimes the best thing for my sanity and his sanity is to walk away. I was so exhausted I knew I couldn't give him the support he deserved. I was getting frustrated and the 2 temper tantrums would not have been good for anyone!  Not long after the mega meltdown Jack cuddled up with daddy and was fast asleep with in 3 minutes.

What are some of the ways you deal with the toddler tantrums?


Shann said...

Ugh. Toddler tantrums happen here all the time. I have twins, so when one is in a good mood, the other one is throwing a tantrum. I guess it's good they don't do it at the same time? You're completely right, though. The same things don't work all the time. Sometimes being calm works, but sometimes just walking away. It's hard work being a mommy to a toddler!

Danielle James said...

Nothing works all the time…honestly you can't really stop a tantrum ever because it's just a developmental thing. You can help kids understand their emotions and why they have tantrums though. Thank you so much for sharing!

Jen said...

I'm not a parent but I have seen some ridiculous meltdowns from niece and nephew and boy it's intense!

Claire C. said...

Toddler tantrums are the worst! Oh my daughter's are terrible - like full on screaming and laying on the floor when she doesn't get what she wants. But generally they only happen when she's tired so I use it as a nap time sign! The best way I've found to handle it is just to ignore her, or to redirect her attention. Like if she starts having one I point to something else and say really excited "Look over here at this!" and then it's over!

Ashley said...

We had a few bad weeks, but we are on the mend now. Our biggest issue now is Noah doing things he knows he is not supposed to, like stand on the arm of the couch - that sounds safe right?? As soon as our back is turned you bet he's getting back up. Sometimes time outs don't work, sometimes he thinks it is funny... Always it is frustrating!! Always do I second guess my disciplinary plan and wonder why it fails sometimes. Toddlers are bipolar I swear.

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