How To Tackle the "Terrible Twos"
While the celebration of your toddler's second birthday is joyful, it is hard to ignore the feeling of dread as "No" begins to dominate his vocabulary. Though his outbursts are frustrating, keep in mind his actions are not acts of defiance directed toward you; he's developing independence and learning how to express frustration. Here are a few tips to help you cope.
Temper Tantrums Explained
Temper tantrums are often sparked by your child's frustration at her inability to complete a task she thinks she should be able to do on her own. On top of this frustration, toddlers often get frazzled because they do not possess the language skills to express their feelings. Tantrums are normal for the development every child goes through and will decrease around age 4, once motor and language skills are better developed.
Managing Temper Tantrums
Temper outbursts are taxing on both parent and child. Luckily, there are tactics you can use to defuse the situation, according to Dr. Jeremy Friedman, author of The Toddler Care Book.
During a tantrum, it's important to remain calm and avoid inadvertently reinforcing the behavior. Keep your emotions in check. If your emotions escalate, so will your child's. Do not laugh or confront her. Instead, ignore your child without making eye contact and wait for her to calm down. This will ensure you are not reinforcing bad behavior.
After the tantrum, provide reassurance and guidance. Speak to her in a relaxed tone and teach her how to express her feelings to you through words instead of throwing a fit. Reassure your toddler that you love her, then move on to the next activity.
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