A Christmas Tantrum survival course. More on why Christmas Can Be an uncertain Filled Time of Year...
- It’s an exciting time for your toddler, and this can make them unpredictable
- You are all more likely to be indoors together for extended periods of time, which reduces possibilities for your tot to expend energy. This in itself can lead to problems.
- You may be under extra pressure of one sort or another (wanting
everything to be ‘just right’, hosting relatives, money worries etc)
making it harder to stay calm with your child.
- You may be staying with relatives who have different ideas about parenting, or a different level of tolerance towards young children.
- Many routines that support good behaviour go out of the window. It’s good to let routine go sometimes, for example if you don’t regularly give your child pudding - but of course things are different at this time of year.
- Many people are overtired anyway at Christmas. If it’s winter where you live you will almost certainly be expending more energy than is natural. Our cave people ancestors got up and went to bed with the sun. What all this means is that your toddler is more likely to have tantrums, and you are less likely to deal well with them.
It's Different At Christmas Because at Christmas everything is a bit different, and you deserve to relax and enjoy yourself as much as possible, it’s important to have some extra tricks up your sleeve.
This is not where you get disillusioned with yourself for allowing one of those episodes to happen. You are dealing with a small child just one step away from being a baby. Some days they will want to be a baby again, other days they will want to be treated as a big boy or big girl.
At Christmas they are just excited, and you are excited for them. With all the distractions a Christmas tantrum may never happen.
They are learning, discovering things every moment of the day. So much going in, its overwhelming, now everything has changed for a few weeks.
That could be said for the parent of a toddler as well!
The best you can do is be prepared.
Do you throw an umbrella in the boot of your car, or bag, just in case it rains? That's being prepared.
Do you take extra batteries on holiday, just in case you camera need them.? That's being prepared.
Can you see where this is going?
Distracting a toddler is no different, you just have to be prepared. Have something that suits you. But whatever it is, it must be, fast, engaging and easy to get your hand on, or visually rewarding for the tot.
There's little point, once the energy is building and you are in the park, saying "oh look at that lovely cloud" and expect the child to be bothered. On the other hand saying "quick I have just seen a big balloon, lets catch it". The child will be engaged, because it is something they associate with fun, a balloon. Lets catch it, now its a game. The fact its not there, will not matter, because it is hiding from you, so more fun.
I found prevention far easier to deal with, then ending a Christmas tantrum, or any other one, that a toddler doesn't understand why it started.
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