by Laura Berthiaume April 26, 2021 4 min read
Imagine you had a really hard day at work. You made a mistake that’s not easily fixable and your boss is upset.
Then, on the drive home, someone behind you lays on their horn because they think you didn’t turn left fast enough.
AND THEN, you quickly pop into the grocery store but as you’re leaving, one of your grocery bags rips open and food spills all over the parking lot.
You finally get home, collapse on the couch, and start ranting about your day to your partner.
In response, they simply look at you and say, “I can’t be around you when you’re like this”, walking into the kitchen.
What do you do?
Well, you’re likely annoyed at the very least. Understandable!
No one likes to feel frustrated or overwhelmed and when we do, often the only thing we want is a sympathetic ear.
Now imagine you’re also a 1, 2 or 3 years old feeling that way but you don’t have the life experience or language skills to understand and articulate how you are feeling.
No, your toddler didn’t have a hard day at the office BUT every day they’re faced with their own toddler challenges.
And when we can start from a place of understanding at the beginning of a meltdown, it can be easier to stay in control and help them through it, without you both ending up frustrated.
Ok that title is a bit misleading. You can’t actually prevent tantrums altogether. There’s just too many big emotions in toddlers. A granola bar breaking can cause one and unfortunately no one has invented magic granola bar glue :)
BUT there are some things we can do to minimize their frequency:
Once a toddler’s emotions are elevated, there are a couple things you can to help them calm down:
And if today’s been an especially challenging day for any reason, know that you really are doing the best you can, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
These heightened emotions are perfectly developmentally normal and are no indication that you’re a bad parent!
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