I was once told by a father at a restaurant, who was admiring Kellan's good behavior, that dealing with the terrible-two's is nothing compared to how your kid acts when he's three. Seriously? I did not need to hear that! Unfortunately, that man knew what he was talking about. Now that year three is almost here, I am dealing with some pretty intense battle of the wills between my son and me.
We recently went to the toy store to buy a gift - yes, I know some of you parents may be shaking your heads at the way this story is starting off - and before we walked in, I reminded him that we were looking for a gift for his friend. There would be no toy purchases for Kellan. I was counting on him being a good helper. He nodded in agreement.
Just a few minutes into our search, he spotted a train display. That's when everything went downhill fast. First he grabbed a train from the display and said "I would like this for my birthday." I calmly responded that he would get lots of nice toys for his birthday, but today was not his birthday. When I tried to make him put it back, he clung to it and then started demanding I buy it. To give myself a little credit here, I remained calm. I tried reasoning with him. I told him that his birthday was coming up soon. I reminded him that he agreed to be a good helper. I warned him that his behavior wasn't acceptable. To make a long, painfully embarrassing story short, I had to walk out of the toy store carrying a flailing, screaming child.
I've tried different approaches to tantrums and nothing really works on a consistent basis. I don't like raising my voice, but sometimes that's the only thing that gets his attention. Other times, just ignoring his behavior makes him snap out of it. Sometimes talking very softly makes him instantly more agreeable. The worst is when nothing works. That's when I want Mary Poppins to drop in.
I know tantrums are normal but they are still very stressful. I am trying to pay attention to what triggers them - it's usually hunger or fatigue for my son - and I'm trying to muster all the patience I have when it happens.
How do you deal with tantrums? I could use any advice I can get!