Babe (getting on two years and nine months) has upped the ante on tantrums. I’m not talking about frequency, I am taking about the severity. I used to be able to sight a tantrum coming over the brow of the hill and find a way to duck us all out of its furious path. But Babe’s determination is growing and my tantrum dodging skills have yet to catch up. Sometimes I hate to say it, but I have to let it run its course. I do try my best not to desert her though, and stay in the room (or near by) ready for when she needs to be picked up and hugged so that we can move on.
A good example the other day was when she insisted on joining me in the shower in the morning. I was ok with that. It’s the refusing to come out bit that I was not going along with. Despite turning off the shower she proceeded to wail and flail in the bath. I tried to pick her up, but at 39 weeks pregnant with a slippery toddler, that is nigh on impossible. And I refused to risk injury to the three of us in the process. So I sat in the bathroom or just outside putting the clean clothes away and let her get on with it. I also lay a towel over her to prevent her getting a chill.
I felt bad, she was in distress. I know this wouldn’t bother some parents, but it does me. If you were to badge my parenting discipline approach, I guess you’d call it gentle discipline. There’s a difference between this and lazy, I’m a push over type of parenting.
I do recall the stubborn feelings and how I struggled to rationalise them when I was small. I try to keep this stuff in mind when I am disciplining my own daughter. Hence, throughout the above episode while not giving in, I explained repeatedly and gently that I’m sorry but staying in the bath was not an option and asked if she wanted a hug. After it had run its course I helped her out the bath, gave her a big hug and wiped away the slobbery snotty facemask that was starting to set. Then that was it, tantrum over and we went on to have a great day.
If you have any gentle type disapline tips on how to deal with a toddler tantrum of this nature, please let me know. I sense this is only going to get worse before it gets better.