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Taming Tantrum Skills Start At Birth

I was at the midwives yesterday for my 29 week check up (I can’t believe I am that far already), and I brought my 3 year old son. I kept getting compliments on his behavior, his patients, and his intellegence. The midwives always tell me when I visit that they learn something from me, and take notes and put it in their parenting handbook. The last few visits, this last time especially, I was encouraged to do more parent education.

Later, when I got home, I went to a few parent educator sites that I am familiar with and began looking at their topics. One I noticed in all of them, Taming the Tantrum. So I started looking at how I calm my sons tantrums (which are generally mild) and how I relate to him.

I noticed, a lot of what I do is observe his environment, so see the cause and engage him in conversation, and talk to him about his feelings.  I then realized, not many 3 year olds can say why they are mad, or happy, they don’t always have the words to say the emotion let alone why they feel that way. So I began to look at why he can tell me his feeling and sometimes tell me why he has them.

I realized, these skills I helped him harness from the moment he was born. When he was happy, I told him “you are such a happy boy right now, you are playing, and laughing and talking to mommy. You have such a happy face with smiles” or “I hear you are frustrated. You are needing your diaper changed, and fed. I hear your frustration and I will change your diaper and feed you”

I was always talking to him about the world around him, narrating our day, narrating our emotions, mine and his, and why we had them. I think this really helps with his tanturms now. I have been observing his environment from day one, so I can normally see what made him mad, or frustrated or happy, and I am having a two way conversation with him.

Some days we can fix the problem by giving him choices (what cloths to wear, or what activity he can do instead), other days we can not because he does not have the choice (such as it is bed time).

I am not going to say how I handle these tantrums at this time, as each situation is different and that is another days blog.

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