I've complained since she was 15 months that the Terrible Twos begin early. But I realized at about 18 months that her problem at 15 months was her communication. Suddenly around 17-18 months that fixed itself, she learned how to communicate a bit better about her needs and I was able to calm her down.
Now the LLB is 20 months old and it's a whole other story. She's looking down the barrel of the two year old gun and she's ready to explode. I try not to take it personally, I try to remember that some of her behavior may be my fault, but not ALL of it is. I try to remember that it's a phase and will pass.
Today she lost it for the first time in public. We were leaving the doctor's office, collarbone is healing nicely by the way, and the appointment time was 1pm. LLB naps from 12:30-3 so from the get go I knew we had an issue. Well she behaved very well for the appointment. I was shocked really. But upon leaving she got irate with me for trying to put her shirt back, what a mean mommy, I am!
She cried and even shouted a bit while we waited for them to make her follow-up appointment. She carried on in a way I've never seen her do and I had no choice but to stand there holding her. She hit me, tried to bite me, she was irate and I couldn't do ANYTHING about it. Finally we finished there and she nuzzled into my neck. The one position she can do that makes me forget what a monster she is!
I probably would have lost my cool with her had we not been in public. So I've done some asking around and found some good tips ... in hopes that I'm not the only one going through this, here they are:
Use Distraction: When your child starts getting worked up, try turning her energy and attention to a new, acceptable activity like playing a favorite tape or singing and dancing.
Stay Calm: A gentle tone of voice says you're in control. Sure, the calm, even-tempered approach may not be immediately rewarding, but you will see the effects as your child increasingly grows toward self-control. (This sounds hard!)
Place in Crib or Playpen: By placing your child in a crib or a playpen, you can remove some of your attention from their tantrum.
When in Public. If your child's behavior is embarrassing you, simply remove her without discussion or fuss. Then, wait until she's completely calm before continuing with your outing.
Don't Use Bribes: It only reinforces the negative behavior and ultimately teaches your child that if she wants something, all she has to do is scream and kick loud enough to get it.
Common Causes of Tantrums:
Frustration, Emotions, Control, Physical Hunger, exhaustion, over stimulation, boredom, not feeling well. Choices, too many or too few.
Welcome to My World,