THE FIVE STAGES OF A TODDLER TANTRUM


The terrible twos aren't a myth, if you've escaped them then just count yourself lucky though I'm sure the threenager or the what-the-fuck fours will most definitely haunt you instead, it's so rare anyone gets away unscathed by their toddlers. You may even be in the elite category that ends up dealing with all three and if you've found yourself there then I salute you because I am well in truly in the midst of a classic terrible two-er. His name is Patrick and he likes to yo-yo between the loving, cuddly and carefree boy he's always been to then the feisty, temperamental and quite frankly emotionally unstable state he's grown to enjoy showing off. The peak times to relish this aspect of his personality appear to be during public outings, particularly if the setting is a calm or tranquil one OR at bed time - because who doesn't love a meltdown when you should have been asleep an hour ago?



I would love to sit here and put together a post on how to deal with such outbursts, what to say and how to restore the calm - but in truth I have absolutely no clue and am about as qualified as an egg to give that kind of advice. I can't even tell you what doesn't work because you see toddlers themselves don't even know what they want in the moment of these tantrums, so how we can be expected to understand is impossible I'm sure you'll agree? Well, the toddler doesn't, and is in fact usually furious at the notion that you can't read their tiny minds. So instead I'm going to walk you through the five stages of toddler tantrums, because that IS something I have bags of experience with, it might not follow the pattern to the exact, but you're sure to find yourself mumbling along the lines every single time, at least I know I do.



Remain firm and act like you have some form of control
We all do it, some of us successfully but unfortunately I'm not one of the chosen ones that manages that. My first instinct when I can see the mist descending is to be the parent I always assumed I'd be, keep strong, stand my ground, teach him right from wrong. At this point people are usually having a good glance, half are glad it isn't them and the others are fully judging you for every move you make. But it's fine because you've got this right? You're the parent here and your child will listen. Ten seconds in you realise that under no circumstances is this approach working and in fact your child is completely mugging you off in front of the entire supermarket, it's time to enter phase two.

Ignore
Ahhh the good old none reaction, a little bit fruitless given you've already channelled through the above and your little terror is more than aware you know the score. Alas you raise your head and play all the mind games you can, even if they're on the floor and dead-weighting (oh we all love this don't we?) you're prepared to walk away enough so they jump up in panic and do as they're told. It's not going to work, you and said child both know you'll get five footsteps away before you're at a complete stalemate and given the tiny dictator doesn't understand compromise you'll be forced to go back with your tail between your legs. At no point was this ever going to work, you might get lucky on the first couple of tries but as soon as they're wise to the game, it's game over.

Threats of anything and everything that you know you wont keep
So you're not looking your best right now, your toddler is winning in terms of resilience and you're usually pretty pissed off by this point. It's time to pull out the big guns, no more in the night garden - you didn't want to have to resort to these shady tactics but you've been pushed too far. Except, your toddler might not remember why he's screaming on the floor but they'll certainly remember that last time you promised no more Iggle Piggle, by the time 6:30pm rolled around you were so exhausted that the plinky plonk was well and truly bopping away on the television. It's futile, he's willing to risk it because he knows the odds are in his favour.

Bribery
The only method that we know works every time. Sure it's creating a miniature Veruca Salt, but who cares? You wont have to deal with that in the middle of the fruit and veg aisle in Tesco, so at this moment in time they can have exactly what they want. Chocolate, sweets, another go on the ridiculously expensive ride? Have it all, just get up off the god damn floor and help me regain some kind of composure. It's an approach that you always told yourself you wouldn't do, you can feel the glares in the back of your head and you promise yourself that next time you'll be firm, or 'if we were at home it would be different'.

And breathe
They're up, they're listening, we still don't know what started it but we most certainly know what ended it - chocolate, it's usually the great resolve for 99% of childrens' problems. All your self respect is back there on aisle three but you're feeling like you won because your child isn't still laid down there with it.



Nobody said that negotiating tantrums from someone who's been around a mere few years, would be easy but my goodness they didn't say how hard they would be. Toddlers are stubborn and I seem to be raising one with an almighty resistance, though the cuddles and kisses make you forgive fast, it's hard to forget when they've played you so badly for a strawberry lollipop.


9 comments

  1. Oh man, now that we are well and truly out of those toddler days one thing I can look back and say I definitely don't miss is those tantrums! My daughter used to have terrible ones so I can totally relate to this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. haha this made me laugh! I thought we would be well shut of the tantrums by this age (4,5,6,14) but actually all four are capable of throwing a tantrum even now! Agghhh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha! And it doesn't stop there. We are going through the terrible 3's and 8's at the moment hehe! x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Pickle used to have the most epic tantrums! They are the worst but they do pass. Kaz

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tyler is only 18 months old but the tantrums have well and truly begun.. and with force. I was in tears last week because of how bloody hard it is! Luckily we’ve not had this in the supermarket just yet but I’m sure it will come!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Haha those feels! I loved this so much, my little boy is 3 and we definitely have our moments haha xD I can relate so much! Yes the chocolate thing in shops haha!! Such gorgeous photos too :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (I would love to follow each other on bloglovin if you like :D)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh I need this post! I have a 3 year old that is testing me at the moment x

    ReplyDelete
  8. haha so true. My toddler is 3 now and she's the diva of tantrums!! It's exhausting at times.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh yes be firm always works. And having “the look” works wonders too!

    ReplyDelete

*