Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taming the Tantrums

Here are a few things I’ve learned about dealing with tantrums:

-A friend told me that she managed to get through the “terrible two’s” without much fanfare by nursing when she saw a tantrum coming. For those who are interested in nursing past age 1-2, this could be a great way to calm the storms.

-I wasn’t able to nurse past 1.5 years or so (more on that in another blog), so I couldn’t use nursing as a pacifier for the tantrums that came later. Instead, I decided to use the same “energy” and apply it – to very strong results. When I see my child starting to melt-down, I do the opposite of what most people advise. Most say to ignore the tantrum, walk away, and let the kid know that his/her behavior is not acceptable. For me, I decided to majorly COMFORT my kids. When they start to melt down, I offer a hug, a kiss and I whisper to them in their ear comforting thoughts. I teach them that they are loved and supported and that we can get through this together. It takes time & patience, so I cannot honestly say I do this EVERY time (and it’s also not always successful), but those times when I do it and it works end up being wonderfully bonding experiences for me and my child. I do my best to transfer the tantrum into an opportunity to show that when you’re frustrated, at least mommy is here for you. It’s OK to be frustrated. It’s OK to need support and attention. And usually after a hug & kiss & whispers, the child is calm enough to explain what is upsetting in a more “mature” fashion. It’s a win-win!

-Time out is key. Sometimes kids are overwhelmed. Or just need time to process their emotions. If your child simply cannot express himself and is too upset to hug or talk or otherwise function, put him in a time out. It’s not meant as a punishment (however angry you may be!), but rather an opportunity to calm down and figure out what he wants. Once he’s calmer, you can process with him what he’s feeling or just help him move past his upset.

-It’s ok to get angry. I know this is not what ANY psychologist will tell you, but I’ve come to believe that it can be important for your child to see that you are human too. You have feelings too. You cannot ALWAYS be calm and collected. Of course, as a general rule, you need to be the adult, the one who can pause before reacting, and a solid role model for not letting your anger get a hold on you. But if you’re not a perfect person (yet), then don’t put yourself on too much of a pedestal. Sometimes, if your child is just beyond what your nerves can handle, be human. Yell at the wall or throw a pillow on the bed. He’ll get the message that the way he behaves upsets you. And he should – he shouldn’t grow up into a world where he thinks he can behave however he wants and everyone else must be patient. And if you regret how you behaved, forgive yourself quickly. Don’t dwell on your mistakes or when you’ve lost your temper. Because that is ALSO what you need to role-model for your child: how to get past the anger and continue with your life in a healthy fashion. Hug, kiss, make up and move on.

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