Tempering Toddler Tantrums

Foreign Service LifePeru
August 14, 2013

Toddler Tantrums

Friends, can I tell you how fortunate I feel that my advanced little girl has decided that being 2 is not a prerequisite to displaying Terrible Twos behavior!?  Every day I am blessed to practice extreme patience as I experience meltdowns, shrieking, kicking and the occasional bite.  On really special days she includes advanced moves like planting her feet against the stroller wheels so I can’t push it, making her body limp so that it becomes impossible to move her and my personal favorite, the dump-the-toys-while-staring-you-down-move.

Take that, Mommy!

The good news is that I haven’t given her away yet.  The bad news is that I think we’re going to be stuck here awhile.  My gal’s got intelligence + spunk and that leads to LOTS of power struggles.  Honestly, it awes me how fast she can flip on and off the tantrum switch – you’d never know it was the same child!  Oh, and did I mention that she’s a SAINT for the Nanny??  What’s up with that?!

One day, during YET ANOTHER episode of Sesame Street I was struck with a flash of brilliance – I would teach her how to deep breathe!  BTW, here’s the video that provided the inspiration: 

Genius – all I had to do was calm her inner monster down with some belly breathing!  I introduced the concept during a time-out one afternoon.  I began by whispering “calm your body down” in her ear a few times.  Then I’d take an audible in-breath through my noise and finish with a big sighing exhale.  At first she didn’t want anything to do with it, but she changed her tune once I told her the time-out wouldn’t be ending until she tried it.

Granted, she’s not 100% on board yet, but we’ve done it enough times that she understands what we’re doing.  To me, that feels like progress.  Stay tuned . . . if she continues at the pace we’re going, we’ll be well into meditation before Kindergarten!

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  1. Nomads By Nature says:

    OH MY LORD, that SWEET MELTDOWN FACE!! I know it doesn’t feel that way when the sound system is turned on too, but oh my is she a total CUTIE!!! Best of luck navigating the tantrum stage – I’m curious to see if the belly breathing is adopted as a calm down strategy for her and how long she takes to use it on her own. I found belly breathing critical for me, especial as mine moved into the 3s and could voice their opinions and desires more readily and loudly. Ah, the joys!!

  2. Sara says:

    Love it! She’s a handful for sure. Ashlynn is very strong willed as well but I’ve found most of it is for attention (which I’m sure she feels like she needs more of since she’s the youngest and I’m pulled in a million directions these days) but I’ve found if I just walk away and ignore her, she stops and then I can swoop in for a kiss after she’s forgotten about it.

  3. Sarah Novak says:

    God, it feels like there’s no end in sight… How am I going to make it through the 3’s too????

  4. Sarah Novak says:

    I don’t know how you do it with 3 of them Sara (and your biz) – you amaze me!

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