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Kids and tantrums

I am reading alot of posts from parents who watched Rachael’s show with Leah Remini and could relate to the child who throws tantrums when they don’t get their way. That would be my son. The same son who is a picky eater. I know, it makes sense, right?

He gets fixated on something and becomes completely inconsolable if he can’t get his way. This more or less started when he was 2-prior to that he was a good baby! I felt so bad for him when he first started throwing tantrums that I gave in alot. I just wanted him to stop crying. However, now that he is 3 1/2 , I don’t give in anymore. But there is a big difference in his maturity level from when he was just 2. At 2, he couldn’t talk so well, couldn’t communicate, so that alone was frustrating to him. Now that he’s 3 1/2, he can tell me what he wants and I know that he can understand what I am telling him. Still, unless he is sick, tired or hungry (and then I cut him a little slack), if he wants something and doesn’t get it, I hold firm but I don’t get angry. Here’s what works for me when my child is throwing a tantrum or does something naughty, like grab a toy from his sister:

  • I crouch down to his eye level, look him in the eye and say gently, “no.” If he has done something wrong, like grab a toy, as opposed to just cry because he can’t eat the entire jar of gummy vitamins (why did I buy those?), then I say, “no grabbing” or whatever. I don’t get mad, I stay even, and I don’t get upset. I don’t want to give him anything else to focus on than my word “no.”
  • If he is upset, I hold him if it helps and I try to distract him by walking into another room and showing him something like the t.v. or what someone else is doing. Yesterday he had a tantrum and I took him right outside and we walked to the corner and back. The idea here is to let him forget about what was upsetting him and move on. The important thing is to not give in and give him what he wants (i.e. vitamins). If he is being naughty, then I either ignore him or a give him a time out.
  • Sometimes my son just wants to feel that he is in control so I might not give him the vitamins that he is asking for, but I might give him two other choices so in the end he feels like he is making a choice, even if it isn’t the original choice.

I am telling you, a little bit of discipline goes a long way. Almost immediately after I started doing this, my son started acting better and even seems happier!

He’s still a picky eater, however!

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