Friday, 16 March 2012

Guest Post - Joanne Mallon Tips on Tantrums

I'm quite excited as this is my first ever guest post. I thought is was pretty appropriate as the post is how some tips on how to survive toddlers and there tantrums. We have all had times when they can throw themselves on the floor screaming and kicking and you think 'what on earth'.

 This book brings together tried and tested practical, down-to-earth tips from parents who've survived the toddler years and want to help you do the same. If you've ever wondered how to get your child to sleep through the night, listen when you say no and stop reacting with horror at the sight of something green on their plate, this book can help. 'Toddlers: an instruction manual' celebrates the qualities we love about toddlers, and suggests ways to navigate their less appealing aspects. We cannot stop your toddler from tormenting you, but we can help you get through with your sanity (just about) intact.

Written with warmth and understanding, 'Toddlers: an instruction manual' is a practical guide to parenting your child when the challenges may seem to outnumber the good bits and you most need a helping hand. Part of the royalties are donated to Home-Start, one of the UK's leading family support charities.

Some parents feel that when your child wants to talk to you, any other conversation you may be having with other adults must cease immediately (mid sentence if necessary), as you drop down to your child’s level to find out what they want. Those who do this, usually justifying it with a “He won’t wait”. But how will he ever learn to wait if you don’t give him reason to?

One defining characteristic of toddlers is that they live life very much ‘in the moment’ –whatever is happening right now is much more important than what went before and what’s coming next. Patience is a skill that takes a long time to build, and it’s a rare toddler who has it naturally. Sometimes it’s children who aren’t the first born in the family who tend to be most patient, simply because the natural order of things means that they’ve always had to wait their turn.

Similarly to how you deal with tantrums, how you deal with situations like this sews the seeds as to what sort of adult your child will become. So if you want them to grow up thinking that the world revolves around them, go right ahead and react immediately.

If you want your child to wait a little (perhaps whilst you finish your current conversation), one method you can use is to encourage them to hold your hand when they want to speak to you. You can gently stroke their arm or hand, which tells them that your attention is on its way. And if that doesn’t work, pick up on the cues from your child and make plans to skedaddle.

This is one of those topics that can really divide parents, but I am of the opinion that it’s never too early to learn manners and think of others. Also I think cultural differences can come in to play – in some families, loud raucous conversation with everyone speaking at once is the norm, whilst others are much quieter. So be sensitive to the situation you’re in and encourage your child to do the same.

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