Picture this.. A one year old with tons and tons of hyper energy, filled up with those raging “toddler hormones” (is that even a term, ha!)…who is more interested in spilling and messing up his food than actually eating it… wants to lay hand on every possible “danger-item” in the house… is obsessed with TV remotes, Slippers, CDs, Hangers, Table mats, bottles, mobiles, files and all possible non-baby stuff! This lil guy is a keen explorer and wanders around the house as if on some big mission! Any small thing can majorly upset him (read: if we don’t let him touch the hanger.., if we try to take away the remote from his hand.., if we don’t let him go near the kitchen sink…and the likes!).
The result: Toddler Tantrums. Luckily, Ritwik is not a troublesome child (till now, touchwood!), so we don’t have to face these tantrums every single day…but the tantrum-days (or rather incidents) can get mentally draining and wear me down (and I am sure it wears Ritwik down too!)
So here’s what works for us (not necessarily in the same order):
#1, #2 and #3: Eat. Pray. Love (Literally!) – I strongly feel a healthy child is a happy child.
Pray: I believe in power of prayers…they have always magically worked wonders for Ritwik (right when he was in my womb!)…prayers kinda compose him, and mellows his hyperactivity.
Love: Xoxo and more xoxo -(This one is my all-time fave way to deal with his tantrums 😉 )
I feel hugs, cuddles, squishes and kisses work big time to pep up that puppy-faced baby! So when Ritwik is upset and all fuss pot I just give him a hug, pick him up and make him feel ,’oh baby, mumma totally understands you, let us try and find a way out of this!’
I always like to be there for him when he is upset and put myself in his shoes …i mean imagine if we did not know how to talk yet, did not have a clue about words like ‘danger’, ‘fear’, ‘No’….and had to communicate to others only by laughing, smiling, crying or getting upset…man! If I were Ritwik, I would have probably thrown a tantrum every single hour! Blah!
#4: Creatively harnessing his never-ending energy – This reminds me of the old adage ‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop’. I feel it is important to imbibe a sense of discipline once the child crosses the 12-month mark, and harness the child’s energy into some creative activities that will keep him / her engaged and creatively busy. I create lot of sensory boxes and Montessori inspired play activities for my kiddo – it keeps him engrossed while I can finish cooking / office work. This way his brain functions (and is getting nurtured) around his play activities rather than hovering around unnecessary things. I have noticed that the days on which Ritwik throws major tantrums are the days when I do not involve him in meaningful activities, book reading or sensory plays.
#5: Distract Distract Distract: This has always been a clear winner – and the simplest of all – So when Ritwik is grabbing things that he is not supposed to play with, trying to drop off things from his high chair, or throwing a rage over silliest of things that cannot be fulfilled at that given point – we simply distract him – give him his fave toy, show him some other corner of the house, take him down in the garden ..I mean the list is endless! Thankfully, the baby’s memory is “momentary” and they forget what they were fussing over after a while.. (thank god for that!). Also what has worked for us is to ‘just let him be’…say if he is crying because I took away the remote from his hand, I will just wait for him to settle down. If he stops whining / fussing about it, I will praise him with a big hug and a kiss 🙂
So that’s my list so far. Keep more ideas coming in, because i sure need them…till then, happy parenting 🙂