We will soon be having a toddler at home. Our little boy at one year and nine months old is starting to show some uncontrolled outburst of frustration already. Others might see him as a spoiled brat while some might be thinking our son is being manipulative. But thank God I learned that his behavior is perfectly explainable. I recently attended Smart Parenting Mom Workshops on Raising Toddlers. And yes, I was enlightened. Allow me to share what we have learned from the three-hour seminar.
Raising toddlers and dealing with temper tantrums
Children as young as two have limited vocabulary. They may have some difficulty explaining their needs. Thus they cry when they cannot get what they want. Three- to four-year-old kids, on the other hand, can already express their demands but need their parents’ guidance to grow up well-mannered.
So parents, how do we tame tantrums without losing our sanity and hurting our children in the process?
A notch below the kid’s voice
Michelle Tambunting, co-founder, and directress of Young Creative Minds Preschool, shared that in dealing with toddlers, we should keep our cool and deal with the tantrum as calmly as possible. Raising our voice would only escalate things. The more the child will scream or cry. Likewise, we are our kids’ role model and yelling back teaches them to do the same in stressed situations.
Use of repetitive words
Ms. Michelle further advised that repeating what a toddler said is a way to communicate to him that he is understood. If the little tot wants a cookie, the mom may say: “You want a cookie. Ok, mama got it. You want a cookie. I will give you a cookie after you finish your milk, ok?” This way, a parent reassured the kids that he got the message right. Likewise, it pleased the little one knowing his parent was of the same emotional state as his.
Let the kid self-regulate
Of all the tips Ms. Michelle shared, I like this the most.
She emphasized that kids can already understand their parents especially if they speak softly and slowly. An excellent way to deal with toddler’s temper tantrum is to counter it before it happens. An example would be a constant reminder to the kid to “pack your things now as we may forget it later.”
On their trips to far places, Ms. Michelle would remind her boy to pack his toys already so when he gets bored, he has something to play with. Through this tactic, she anticipated already the possibility that her son would resort to tantrums should he gets tired on their way to some place. A way to counter her son’s weariness is to keep him busy like having a toy beside him.
Letting the kid self-regulate only means you teach your child responsibility. He feels a sense of achievement and fulfillment having fulfilled something. Such a nice way for kids to learn and absorb especially at a young age.
Be a role model
We often hear this but forget about it as well. We set rules, yet we break our own rules. A nice example Ms. Michelle shared was she only gives her boy 30 minutes of computer time, and yet her son caught her a lot of occasions facing the computer screen. To be a good model, we should make an effort to follow our rules. Know how and when to control the urge to disobey our own orders.
Raising money smart kids
Another well-loved speaker during the Smart Parenting Mom Workshop on Raising Toddlers is Ms. Arceli Tan. She is a licensed finance adviser of Insular Life. She ended the discussions with one of the most important subjects’ parents need to know, money. She talked about Financial 101 for all moms and how moms could teach their kids to be money smart.
Pay yourself first
This simply means we need to set aside a portion of our income to save before we pay the bills and buy groceries. We need to set a saving goal and leave the money alone. This way, we can save just like we allot money for the education, bills, grooming, and recreation among others.
Walk the talk
In paying oneself first, we need to be consistent. This is to show our kids that we have the good intention to save. Also, it only demonstrates to them that we are serious about this goal and they would certainly understand the value we would want to teach them.
Smart Parenting Mom Workshops on Raising Toddlers was an enlightenment. As what Ms. Leah Nemil-San Jose, Smart Parenting editor-in-chief, said during the welcome remarks, the workshop aims for parents be more confident about parenting their toddlers. Of course, sumptuous buffet and gifts were aplenty. The major sponsors – Insular Life, Belo Baby, and Calpol – and partner concessionaires – Smart Steps and Nature to Nurture – also provided a little something of their brands for moms to try.
Again, it is typical for toddlers to experience tantrums. It is a normal part of child development. It is a way for toddlers to communicate that they are hungry, uncomfortable, tired or want something. As parents, instead of becoming frustrated, we should communicate with them and show empathy. Our kids need to know and feel they are being understood. Being controlling will all the more result to noncompliance and more frustration.
So the next time my little man whines, I will speak to him calmly. Or perhaps as what Ms. Michelle said, the best way to handle temper tantrums is to prevent them.
Momi Berlin Directory