BY MOMWISE OGECHI UCHEATU

I sat there simply staring at him… I was exhausted and simply at a loss for words! His puppy dog eyes stared right back at me as if he could do no harm. I had tried “everything by the book”. I had yelled, given a pep talk, taken away his TV time, and even resorted to a little spanking on the tush. Yet my 3-year-old son was bound on making my morning a memorable one as a result of his temper tantrum.

Just like most moms, I had heard about the phase of the “Terrible Twos” from a friend who had older kids, but I didn’t quite understand it until I experienced it myself. I choose to call it the years of the “Terrific twos” and “Tremendous Threes”. These are very memorable and formative years. I have found it to be the most challenging yet rewarding time as a mother because it has caused me to be creative in developing ways to communicate with my toddler.

Toddler tantrums are a part of the growing process that most children undergo early in life as part of their emotional development (Journal of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners). Therefore, it was advised that parents can reduce the occurrence of these tantrums by identifying triggers that cause these outbursts.

For my children, I realized that a drive past McDonald’s is a trigger that starts a 10-minute outburst about the need for a Happy Meal and how my home cooked “Jollof Rice is yukky” and the McDonalds “Chicken Nuggets and Fries is yummy”! I have learned to control these moments by simply distracting them anytime we are about to approach a McDonald’s fast food outlet.

As a mother, I know that it can be exhausting and somewhat frustrating when your toddler begins to act up especially in the morning when you plan to be at work on-time or on Sundays when you try so hard to get to church before the service starts. In those moments, let’s remember to take a deep breath… calm ourselves down… and then proceed to handle our terrific toddlers. God’s grace has been made sufficient for us even in these moments!

How do you handle your toddler’s temper tantrums? How do you calm your child down during such moments? Have you been able to identify your child’s triggers?

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