Entering the territory of the Terrible Twos can be terrible for both parents and toddlers. The sudden happiness and rage can be confusing for parents. One minute your 18-month-old may be seen enjoying happily and the next minute he/she might be floating the waves of tantrums. This meltdown is so sudden that it will leave you thrilled and wondered.
I have discussed about toddler tantrums and emotions in detail in my previous articles- An Encyclopedia Of Your Kid’s Feelings and Emotions and All About Temper Tantrums- Ages 2 to 6; Ultimate Guide For Mothers.
In this article I will be focussing on 18 months olds temper tantrums.
Toddle tantrums are age appropriate. 18 months is very young age and tantrums are just the beginning. For a parent, understanding the reasons of your toddler’s mess can help to cope with the switch from babyhood into childhood.
Some reasons of sudden mood swings among 18 year old toddlers are discussed below.
- Language Frustration- Toddlers of this age want to express their needs and feelings. When they are unable to speak up what they feel and what they want, they end up crying or throwing tantrums. You can initiate teaching feelings at this time and introduce sign language to them. Over the time, they will learn new skills and will get better in their way of expressing.
- Control and Independence- Is your toddler become cranky at bedtime and cry for the colour of the pyjamas he/she want to wear? Well this is another major issue with toddlers. As they are growing, they think they are BOSS. They want to decide everything for themselves.
The only think you can do is- you can provide them choices. If selecting a pair of pyjamas or the toy to play makes them happy; let’s keep them happy in their own way.
- Teething- It is the age of teething. Teething can be very painful for kids and can cause sleeplessness & discomfort among toddlers. Inability to eat or sleep due to teeth can case frustration among toddlers of 18 months old. You can take advice from his/her paediatrician.
- Physical Discomfort- Lack of sleep, wet diapers, feeling cold or hot and feeling tired or hungry are few example of physical discomfort among toddlers of this age group. They are not able to speak up their problems. As a parent it is your responsibility to keep an eye on your sweet little munchkin’s comfort. They may need time, attention and love.
9 Successful ideas to cope up with your 18 Month Old’s Temper Tantrums
1. Finding the key to the lock is the first and foremost thing which you can do. Observe and find out the reason of your lad’s discomfort. If you know the reason, finding the solution would be easier for you
2. Talking is the best therapy for toddlers. Toddlers can be happy, sad or insecure at the same time. Talk to them in private. Discuss with them. Appreciate your kids on their little efforts. Clapping when they bring you a pen from the desk is considered to be a big token of appreciation for the kids.
3. Supermarket is the place where maximum tantrums are seen. Kids become so much anxious that time that they want anything and everything. Take your kids to the shopping well fed and make sure they have proper sleep. Tell them in advance the reason of going to the market makes them aware about the circumstances of bad behaviour. You can engage them in helping you or you can give incentives like- if you will behave properly here, we will go to your favourite restaurant.
4. Encourage your little munchkin and provide them big pavement to express their feelings. Encourage them to run, play, shout loud and open up
5. Consistency is very much required in your nature. If you said no for one thing, stick to your point. Don’t change your mind after seeing his/her tantrums. Rewarding or bribing never helps in case of extreme or fake tantrums.
6. In order to minimise his/her tantrums, always try to divert his/her mind from that thing or place. Toddler’s attention span is very less and they can easily forget the things happened seconds ago. Distract them with the things they love like going out, playing with the pet or listening rhymes.
7. While handling parents counselling session, one thing I have observed is that parents do what their kids do. It is never advised to yell or shout at your kids when they are angry or frustrated. Better to keep yourself calm and silent that time and relax your lad. You can tell them about their wrong deeds afterwards when they are happy, fresh and ready to listen/understand you. (Do not stretch it for long, that your kid don’t even remember the day they behaved badly).
8. Understanding and accepting your child is very essential when dealing with 18 month old toddler. No child is similar in their habits. Understanding your child’s daily routine and HIS WAY is very important to cope up with his tantrums.
9. Hitting, biting and kicking are few common tantrums of this age group. Make your lad does not make a habit of hitting, biting, kicking or fighting. You should not react the same way they reacted. Do not hit back. Teach them that these things are not acceptable.
Tantrums in toddlers usually occurs in the worst possible time- When you are getting late for work, when you are in public place surrounded by your friends or when you are in the movie theatre. One thing which is common in all these scenarios is your lack of attention. Give your child attention and plan everything keeping him/her in the centre, so that he/she does not feel emotionally overloaded. You can wake up 15-20 minutes early in the morning so that you can spend some time with your little munchkin or you can carry his/her toy (which will keep him/her busy) )while going out.
There always a solution of the problem but finding the problem (tantrum triggers) should be out first priority.