Dear readers, I write to you from our happy holiday home where I am enjoying the company of my sons as we play Playdough, assemble Duplo and Lego, go for walks to admire the crazy beauty of Toronto's ice storm, and read a metric ton of books. Except...I am also handling my darling youngest son, who will turn three next month. And I am starting to develop post-tantrum stress disorder. My eldest child did have tantrums, and maybe I have just blocked out the memory, but I really don't remember it being quite so pyrotechnic in my home. I will be consulting experts as soon as the New Year permits, but in the meantime, do you have any awesome tips? Here's what is not working at all:
- Giving choices, or empowering him through play where he gets to boss me around for a little bit. I'm sure both these things are great for his development as a person, but the old "would you like to go to bed in red pajamas or blue pajamas" is just not effective.
- Getting him to take "deep yoga breaths." This worked on my eldest, honest.
- Reflecting his feelings. I love Happiest Toddler on the Block and so I gamely got down and started reflecting my little guy's feelings when denial of chocolate caused a meltdown. "You REALLY WANTED that chocolate. You are ANGRY you can't have it."
- (Short) Time outs for truly egregious behaviour (hitting, spitting)
- Letting him stay in his room...only trouble is, he trashes it.
- Distraction on the level of a new pony. "Look, it's Santa Claus!"