Parenting expert Kathryn Mewes, answers one reader’s question about her toddler who’s going through the terrible twos
Q.) My two year old is certainly going through the terrible twos at the moment and I just wondered if there is any advice you could give me with regards on how to handle his temper tantrums? I’ve tried the naughty spot and that doesn’t seem to work when I do it. When my husband does it, it works a treat, but not with me. He knows what he’s doing wrong but is constantly pushing his boundaries.
A) Oh tantrums! They all go through them at some stage, pushing boundaries is a natural part of ‘growing up’.
The first thing I say to parents about tantrums is to try and identify why they happen. Many parents say it is when they hear the word: ‘No’. I suggest you find other ways of telling a child they cannot have something. An example could be: “We are going to have that later, after tea time”, or “Let’s come away from the TV and look at watering the plants in the garden.”
Of course one cannot always prevent a tantrum and when they do occur I simply bend down and say loud enough for them to hear “OK. It is OK to shout. I know you are cross. Shout here and when you have finished and are calm, come and find me in the kitchen.”
Confidently walk away so you are out of their sight and let them vent their anger.
I am a great believer in letting children express their frustrations. This is NOT wrong or naughty behavior, it is life. Things don’t always go our way and we will get frustrated at times.
If you want to have a ‘shout spot’, the key is to continue to put them back on the spot until they stay there, even if it is only for 30 seconds. They need to feel the pain of sitting alone before they will think to not repeat their tantrum.
Consistency is the key with discipline and having a space in your home for your children to shout if they need to is the key. They can shout for as long as they like and come back into the kitchen where you are once the noise is over.
After three consecutive days of using the ‘shout spot’ your child believes you are going to be consistent and will start to think before having a tantrum.
Parenting expert Kathryn Mewes is brought to Baby London in conjunction with Milton. Well known as C4’s Three Day Nanny, Kathryn’s expertise covers sleep problems, eating and weaning, behavior and discipline. I hope this helps!
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