Parenting Tip: How To Deal With Toddler Tantrums

Sunday, August 28, 2016
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The #FabSkye is officially 2.5 yrs old. We are half way through the terrible twos but I guess having a threenager would be just as crazy.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I kinda stopped (or mej hinay hinay lang) giving #ParentingTips. While I still do give out some  tips to mums and readers who would ask me directly, I try to limit my posts here on the blog. Why? Because I realized that parenting is really difficult and crazy. I know you still remember that phase I had when I would be super “by the book” kind of mum. Well, I’m not saying naman that you shouldn’t read books because hey! Those authors and experts really do know their stuff. But being a mum for more than 3 years now (including pregnancy), one of the tings I realized is that mothering is so innate to us women. Nasa puso natin sya. While it is important to be well-informed (hey! that’s why I do write them here on the blog), it is very important too that you follow your instincts and listen to your children. So that’s why I am taking it easy on providing parenting tips. I wanna make sure that I really know what I’m talking about before writing them here. And may mga topics na akong medyo sure na ako so expect some parenting tips here and there from now on.

Now let’s start with something I am not yet really an expert yet, but I’m still posting coz I wanna know if I’m really doing it right. So yeah. This is me sharing what I’m doing right now in the hopes that you’d also give me some advise. Plus, I honestly think that it's effective. I have my daughter as proof. Hihi!

Dealing with toddler tantrums is really a crazy thing. That photo of the #FabSkye was taken at an event in Rockwell. She wants to get all the crayons on one booth. And when I said no, because it’s not ours, she cried and went under that chair. Not on the photo was the scene she made that day – she wailed like Peppa Pig (yes as in compete with higa and padyak) in the middle of the event. Her Tatay didn’t know what to do. Obvious sa face nya ang panic. While me, I let out my cool mum self. Kunwari hindi affected pero sa loob loob ko, “utang na loob naman anak don’t make me look like a bad Nanay!”.

But now, at 2.5 yrs old she’s no longer that bratty little girl. I think the only time she ever threw fit in public was like thrice – first was there, second on was on SM Manila when we won’t let her get a Sophia doll and then on another blogger event. That’s it. Generally, she’s an easy kid to handle. She would sometimes cry but it’s easy to pacify her. And people would always commend us because my daughter is behaved.

So how did we do it?
  1. We don’t follow her every whim. Even at a very young age, we are very mindful of giving in to her requests. It’s so easy to just let our children get what they want thinking that they are just babies and so it’s okay, plus it's easier to let them be para tahimik na. Pero hindi. The moment they realized that you’ll give in to what ever they want basta umiyak sila, they’d do it again and again.
  2. Show your authority. Be the parent and make sure that your child understand that. I think it goes hand in hand with number 1.
  3. Talk to your child often. It is important that you and your child would constantly have a conversation. I always talk to the #FabSkye and would try to explain to her the situation and the circumstances of our actions. I try to talk to her in a calm but steady tone to show my authority and compassion at the same time. Talking to my child is also my key to understanding her. When I say talk, dapat conversation. Make it two-way. Talk and listen.
  4. Listen to your child and know them well. As I’ve said, listen to your child intently and understand her. Alam ko para na kong sirang plaka dito but really, knowing your child is a major factor in parenting. And to tell you honestly, ang dami dami kong alam na Nanay, na hindi kilala ang mga anak nila. I’m not talking about just simply knowing their names, their vaccine sched and their favorite. I mean knowing them and understanding them. I know my daughter’s arte iyak, her “I am hurt” iyak, her “I am afraid” iyak. I know her poops and so I know if she’s eating too much sugar, and less fruits. Our Tita Nanny left us a couple of months ago to concentrate on her studies and so we got her Koka (my aunt) to take care of her. And I know that they are kinda spoiling her. Sabi sa inyo, akala talaga ni Mila may CCTV sa buong bahay namin dahil parang alam na alam ko daw ang nangyayari sa anak ko. I said, I don’t need CCTV because I know my child well. Very well. Isang tingin ko palang sa kanya alam ko na kung mukhang sisipunin kinabukasan. And that’s very important.
  5. Let them vent out their frustrations. Toddler are toddlers. It is normal for them to be frustrated. They are on that crazy stage where they can’t express themselves well but they want to explore a lot of new things. So let them vent out. Just make sure that you set rules like no hurting others, no spanking, no shouting in public. On those two occasions where she threw a fit, I let her. She was crying and wailing on the carpet floor and I let her. Maya maya, she stood up and asked me to carry her. Then she said sorry. I asked her why cried and she told me why and I explained to her why I can’t give her what she wants and then we bargain. That's it.
  6. Give them choices. If possible. For me this always works. If she wants something, I would make her choose. Every time we would drop by the toy store, I would tell her that she could get just 1 toy. 1 toy only. Kaya madalas ang tagal tagal namin sa mall. Kasi minsan she’d like a specific toy but then she doesn’t want to get it right away. Pipili pa yan kasi 1 toy lang. Hahaha! My daughter loves the playground but on those instances when we can’t go to the play ground, I would give her an ice cream instead. Sometimes her choices are really not choices, like you can go to the playground but Nanay has to leave you there because we need to go home. So obviously it meant she can’t go to the play ground but I make her feel that she has a choice. Play and Nanay would leave or come with Nanay and go home. I’ll buy you an ice cream on our way out. Easy.
  7. Do not spank. Do not shout. I know it's super hard but believe me, shouting and spanking don't work. It only make things worst. You'll be tired of shouting and you'll regret hurting your child. For us, what works is talking to my child (as in eye to eye). Our number 1 form of discipline is "face the wall". Pag sinabi ko na ang magic word na "do you want to face the wall?". Ayan na! Takot na sya. Hahaha! But what I really noticed is that every time I would talk to my child in a calm and steady voice, dun ako mas may napapala. Mas nakikinig sya, mas sumusunod.
  8. Choose your battles. There! I said it. While I consider myself a disciplinarian, I honestly choose my battles. Maybe that's why our house is less crazy. She wants to wear her pink tutu dress for the Nth time? Fine! She wants another Minnie Mouse toy? Fine! She wants to eat using her hands in the resto? Fine! She wants to run around the mall? Fine! She wants to try all the bikes and balls and lego blocks at the toy store? Fine! Kahit nakakahiya na kina kuya at ate. She wants us to sing with her at the mall and raise our hands? Fine! Kahit pinagtitinginan kami. She wants to call us Mommy Pig and Daddy Pig in public? Fine! Go ahead. If it's not dangerouos, if it's not outright bad and if it won't bother other people directly - FINE! She's a child anyway. She could be rowdy and crazy and if she wants us to join her crazy, we'll do it. Ano ba naman yung medyo nakakahiya kami in public kung ang katumbas eh bonggang tawa ng anak ko? So mums, choose your battle. And join the fun.
Discipline is really not a walk in the park. Sobrang nakakaloka sya. While I want to be friends with my child, I also want to make sure that I am raising my child well. Finding balance is super hard. But we are getting there. Her stint at the Day Care Center is one of our ways to make her more independent. So far, it seems like we made the right choice because she’s more independent now and she could really blend in with her classmates well. She’s also learning a lot.

Exposing her to kids with different back grounds this early is also good for her. Natututo kasi sya mag adjust sa situation at sa tao. I also love the fact that despite being with other kids, the values that we taught her remains. She says sorry, thank you and you’re welcome. She won’t drink zesto and candies kahit wala kami para sawayin sya. She doesn’t fight with her classmates and is always very cheerful.

We are still adjusting to this whole toddler thing. I’m very sure that while I am doing my best, this best is never enough. But I have learned to let go and take it easy. I am not saying that my daughter would never have an episode. Her fourth Peppa Pig moment might happen tomorrow. But practicing the tips I’ve mentioned above has helped us raise a happy and discplined child so far. And we plan to keep it that way.

Kayo? Baka naman may tips kayo dyan for me. Comment below!

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