Wolfie has really been putting me through my paces lately. He has been so grumpy, frustrated, prone to temper tantrums complete with the arched back and flailing arms. He’s only 1. He even bit me on the arm the other day because I wouldn’t let him eat the cat’s biscuits. I thought I had another year til the tantrums of the terrible twos came into full force. Perhaps he is a fast learner. Perhaps he’s just warming up. Oh hell!
I mostly blame teething troubles which leads to sleeping troubles which leads to overtired toddler troubles. And no-one is at their best when overtired. Don’t I know it!
But whatever the reason I have been trying to cope with this new behaviour with compassion. I try to hug it out. Which can be tough with a wriggly, angry, frustrated toddler writhing and wailing in your arms. But I hold tight and keep hugging. I’m not entirely sure it works but I can’t see the logic in using violence to tell my child I don’t want him to act violently. I have been reading a few other articles with ideas such as this one about empathy and this one about applying the HALT method to better understand difficult behaviour. And if all else fails I step back and count to 10, hoping my blood pressure will drop back down to normal and we can continue whatever task we are trying to get through, such as eating dinner or changing nappies…that and I try to remember we live in an apartment building and everyone will hear me yelling if I lose my cool and think I am a terrible parent so as a last resort I guilt trip myself into remaining calm.
Maybe I’m getting worried about nothing, maybe it’s perfectly normal behaviour, maybe I should let it go but there is a tiny voice in the back of my head freaking out about behavioural issues and anger management and him turning into a beastly bully. It’s hard when you don’t have any previous experience and nothing to compare it to…
If you have any ideas/opinions about tantrums then I’d be interested to know. If you have any ideas about how to maintain your cool in a stressful situation, whether you are a parent or not, I would be VERY interested!!