Sometimes we need to stay in our place and react at a later time. Otherwise, our veins might explode.
As my daughter starts formulating sentences from words she understands, she uses those words to communicate with us. On many occasions she attempts to help Lucy and I in some of our daily tasks. Her latest tasks have involved trying to help us clean the furniture, pick things up around the house, and most importantly feeding our Labrador Juanga when he is sick and does not want to eat.
Being a first time dad it amazes me, how quickly she is growing and more importantly evolving into a fully functional human being.
Limited Abilities at the Moment
Her desire to take charge and get some things done is admirable. The desire however sometimes is not up to speed with her abilities. On occasions Lucy and I perceive that she wants to change her own diaper. This brought the opportunity for Lucy to start with the first steps of potty training. Since our daughter can’t change her diaper that seems to frustrate her. We try to take that energy and channel it to a possible long-term solution (potty training).
Daniela has been feeding herself since she was eight months old. First with her fingers and then with spoons and forks. She will usually feed herself but when we are on a time constraints or if we are at a restaurant and there is not child seat, we might need to help her with feedings. She might be thinking, “Hey I can feed myself at home, why can’t I do it here?” When we see her getting frustrated, we try to be patient and find something she can accomplish so she can feel useful and continue to challenge herself.
Defusing a situation when she is getting frustrated can be as easy as giving her a new task like picking up her toys or making her walk and hand something to another adult. Taking these actions makes her feel useful and calms her down.
The Magic Word “Ayuda”
For those occasions where our daughter is having trouble with something, she will cry very loudly, and so we saw the opportunity to teach her the word “Ayuda” which means “Help”. This calms her down while we take action and help her accomplish what she wants to do which can be as simple as taking off the lock code of an iPad or opening a door. We have also taught how to say “Excuse Me” or “Permiso” , “Please” or “Por Favor” (useful when she wants to be breastfeed or wants something handed to her), “Thank You” or “Gracias”. All of these other words are the building blocks of etiquette with us and other people she may encounter.
At 19 months she has already learned how to pick up after herself but if there are other distractions, she will just sing the Clean-Up song while Lucy and I pick up what she has left on the floor.
To keep our daughter entertained we make her feel like she is being productive. It keeps her from being bored and also is a great opportunity to teach them chores while keeping it fun for her.
It would be great if she continues to be as excited to help when she becomes a teenager.
There comes a time in every parents life where they have to deal with tantrums. Once you are a parent you understand a bit better on how sometimes getting control of a situation seems to be easier said than done.
The only valuable advice I can provide other parents is to keep calm. Similar to other situations in life, keeping calm will help you deal with a toddler tantrum a lot better.
Most of my daughter’s tantrums are triggered by the fact that her geeky parents (especially me) want to immerse her in technology. She has been playing with an iPad since she was three months old.
We would be able to take away any item (or gadget) and our daughter would move on and go to the next thing.
Lately she has been throwing small tantrums when she wants something and does not get it immediately. I did some research in trying to find a solution and I found two articles which where very helpful. Our common sense has been to remove her from the situation that caused the tantrum as quickly as possible; we also confirmed this is a good approach.
Before removing your child from the situation it is critical to identify if the child is:
- Pleas for Attention
Dr. Sears recommends keeping a tantrum journal to see what sets him off. Maybe an application like Evernote on your phone can facilitate making note of these. (Reference – http://www.parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-intolerable-toddler-tantrums)
Independence vs dependence.
In my case, my daughter’s can-do attitude only worsens the situation when I try doing stuff for her. She reminds me that I am there to help her. That way she learns how to do it and it becomes beneficial to all parties.
One of the first words we have been helping my daughter understand is “Ayuda” (which means help in Spanish). This might be a way to defuse the situation and allow her to ask for help before she becomes frustrated.
Tag Your Teammate
I remember when I watched the WWF (now WWE) when I was a kid. My favorite events were when it was tag team wrestling. When a wrestler got tired or into trouble, he would tag his partner who usually was in a better state to take care of business. On some occasions you might need the help of those who are around you. If you are a single parent, I tip my hat off to you. For single parents maybe a family member or close friend can come in an assist.
As other professionals mentioned in the sources we share below, they emphasize that tantrums are a completely normal part of the Toddler’s development.
Any tips on how you deal with your Toddler Tantrums?
Would love to continue sharing ideas in the comments area!
- Your 17-month-old’s behavior: Self-control — or lack thereof
- Toddler Tantrums – Dealing with Toddler Temper Tantrums
As a kid, I grew up with heroes at my side. First hero: my dad. He was an exemplary father and taught to respect and appreciate the fine details live brings us. Second hero: my uncle Tato. He is still with me, sharing his ‘jibaro’ wisdom from various topics: world events, politics, BBQ tips. Three heroes of mine: my sons Gabriel, Alex, and Marco. A true blessing having three sons that I can call great friends, and one of them is also a dad (yes, I’m a granddaddy). Various heroes: all my good friends (Raul, Carlos, Roberto) that are dads, and enjoying every bit of it.
Lessons learned from the papaheroes:
1. Respect – this is a trait that can only be learned by modeling. My dad always showed respect to my mother, me, and every person we met. That doesn’t mean he agreed on everything we talked, but respect wasn’t negotiable.
2. Patience – during my life, this one has been a struggle. My uncle showed me not to rush into things. Take a step back, see your reality, and make a wise decision. It’s worthy to wait than to quickly rush into things, with unforeseen consequences.
3. Friendship – my dad was my best friend. I didn’t see at first, but when you are raising your offspring, you want to be their best friend. Earning their trust is so important, so they can relate to you their worries and misgivings when none is listening.
4. Love – last but the most important. Without love, there is no friendship, no respect, no patience. Love is the fundamental concept behind fatherhood. Is not only a sentiment, is a decision. You love your children unconditionally, no matter what.
For all the fathers out there, we hope you had a Happy Father’s Day!