Toddler Tantrums – Episode 038

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In this episode of Nine Months On, we chat about the toddler years and the very challenging topic of tantrums. We are joined by behavior specialist and Mum of 2, Dee Holland Hannon who has a Masters in applied behavior analysis and over ten years working with children, specializing in children with autism.

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • When do tantrums start? As early as 16 months in some cases and are generally triggered by frustration from the child who is struggling to communicate.

 

  • Quick wins to try to help your child with a temper tantrum: change of scene (moving to another room or environment), distraction, or simply ignoring the whole episode.

 

  • Finding the trigger that will set your child off can be your secret to taking the meltdowns down a notch. You may know immediately what will result in a major outburst. Accepting your child finds these situations difficult and acknowledging this is really important.

 

  • Knowing these triggers and either avoiding them happening or having a plan when they do can help diminish the stress this can cause everyone (within miles on the bad days!).

 

  • Dee shares her “First ; Then” approach that can help set boundaries and manage expectations, and most importantly avoid an escalation to level 10 tantrum!

 

  • The importance of your language as a parent, if you are constantly saying “No” your child can become immune to this. Keep important words important so they do not lose power.

 

  • We chat about various distraction techniques like the use of incentives (or bribery!). Offering a choice to your child (would you like the green cup or the yellow cup?) helps to build up confidence and independence and most importantly they are happy that they get what they want. And if all else fails; deep breaths. As difficult as that can be when you want to scream too!

 

Tantrums can be incredibly frustrating for everyone; the child, the parent, and siblings. If you are trying to manage how you react in a more effective way, you are on the right path because you care enough to make an effort. You’re never the only parent whose child has had a level 10 code red in the middle of a public place with an audience eyeballing you. We’ve all been there, so just keep breathing!

 

You can follow Dee on Instagram and read more on her blog “Thoughts, Tots and Tea”

 

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