Year Two – Post 2 | Tantrums-Communication Opportunity
Research has confirmed that “whining” is the most irritating sound for the adult to hear. Well, let’s throw in crying, clinging, screaming, hitting, kicking and “melting” when being picked up into the equation and we will have a real dramatic performance. Yes, that sweet little darling disappeared for a few moments and was replaced with a monster.
First of all, this behavior is normal. Your child wants what he wants when he wants it. NOW! That is what he understands. He doesn’t know the adult world. He doesn’t have a sense of time. When you are explaining, “We will do that later because your mommy doesn’t have the time or money to do that now.” Do you see those bold words? That is what your child understood. Very different points of reality – yours and your child’s- he is hearing it as “do now” and mommy is viewing it as “do later.”
This goes on all throughout his day. He doesn’t get much of a choice in his world. Food is placed in front of him, he is ordered to get in the car, out of the car, clothes on, clothes off, in the tub, out of the tub, pick up toys, don’t touch that, stand still, sit down…does this sound familiar? How would you act if this was what you heard all day with no input or choices?
It is a good idea to once in awhile give him a choice when presented with two options; what to wear, eat or an activity to do. Name the feelings that your child is experiencing. He doesn’t understand “being left out” by his older siblings, “fearful” of a new animal, “tired” or “overwhelmed” by a long day or too much excitement – and the list goes on and on. He has limited language skills to explain how he feels. He also hasn’t learned all the rules of acceptable social behavior. Life for him is trial and error. He watches how his parents and caregivers react to what he does to know if it is okay or not okay. That is why it is important for you to keep a consistent discipline strategy. He has to learn the rules and if you keep changing them, he will be confused.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series