The human brain grows more and faster between when a baby is born until they turn three that it will during the rest of that persons life. The size of a newborn baby brain will triple during the first 12 months of their lives. By the time the child reaches the age of three, more than 3 trillion connections between neurons have been created in that child’s brain. Moreover, the typical three year old toddler has a brain that is three times as active is the average adult brain. When people think about terrible twos tantrums, they do not often take into consideration all of the changes toddler is experiencing. There are things a parent can do to deal with toddler screaming tantrum.
- Make sure your child is well rested. Think about how you feel when you have not had a chance to get enough sleep. With all of the growing your child was doing physically at all of the changes that are occurring in that growing brain, your child needs a lot rest. This is why all good preschool programs include nap time as part of the routine of the day. Even if your child is no longer taking naps, making sure they’re well rested can prevent terrible to tantrums. This also means that you should schedule outings for times when your child it is well rested. You increase the likelihood of provoking terrible twos tantrums by bringing your child to run errands when they’re too tired. Dealing with the terrible twos will be much easier if you keep your child well rested.
- Impose consequences for bad behavior. No one wants to feel like they are being the bad guy the part of terrible twos behavior is more about testing limits. Like everyone else, children need to understand and be taught there’re consequences to their actions and behavior. If you set down rules and expectations for your children, there needs to be negative consequences for when they do not meet those expectations or abide those rules. The consequences you select are up to you. You can use taking away privileges or timeout time or play around with what works for you and your child.
- Do not give your child attention during terrible twos tantrums. Often children will act out to get attention. There are times when you need to step in during terrible to tantrums but there are other times when the best course of action is simply to do nothing. You need to remember to pick your battles wisely. A lot of this depends on when and where and why your child is acting out. Sometimes they will disregard a rule or request just to see how you will react. Keep this in mind when you decide what you want to do about your child when they a.re not behaving the way you would like them to.
- Reward good behavior. The same way you ignore bad behavior, you should reward your children when they behave properly. Many psychologists believe that positive reinforcement is a much stronger motivator then negative reinforcement. Most children Love to get attention and praise from their parents. If your child is acting out to get attention, one good way to discourage this behavior is to give them more praise and attention would have well. If you have a hard time getting them to put away their toys and one day they do, show them lots of praise and excitement for doing a good job.
- Give your child choices. One reason children act out is because they want to have some control over their lives. Like most people, children do not like to be told what to do or feel that they are powerless over everything in their lives. By giving them choices, you give them some control over parts of their lives. These are not big decisions such as, “do you want to live in New York or Los Angeles?” These decisions are more along the lines of “would you like to play inside or play outside?” Similarly, you can offer them choices at mealtime. Simple choices can make them feel more in control and less likely to act out.
You can deal with terrible twos tantrums with some patience, time and effort.