Toddler Tantrums: If you are in need of terrible twos help you are not alone. We’ve all been there. My husband and I have four kids. Believe me, our house has seen its share of toddler meltdowns over the years. But our attitude towards those tantrums has mellowed quite a bit. We’ve learned to keep calm and carry on. We’re more confident and better able to roll with it. I am much more relaxed about those tantrums when they come. You can be too.
You can’t stop toddler tantrums, but there are effective ways to handle them that will make those uncomfortable moments short-lived and less frequent. I think it helps to see the world from your toddler’s perspective. Thankfully, there’s a great resource available now for parents wanting some terrible twos help. Tovah P. Klein, PhD, who’s the director of Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and the Associate Professor of Psychology, has written a guidebook for parents on how to raise happy toddlers.
In this new book, Klein offers parents help dealing with toddler tantrums and insight into how toddlers thrive. There is also a fantastic forward by Sarah Jessica Parker. I love SJP, and I loved learning about her three beautiful kids and her parenting style.
My rookie years as a parent were filled with insecurity and fear. It didn’t help that I had spent several years teaching special education to junior high kids with behavioral disorders.
Advice on Dealing with Toddler Tantrums
Back in the day I pretty much worried about what everyone else thought. And it showed. My boys all did crazy things when they were toddlers. I think biting my good friend’s daughter for no reason on a play date takes the cake. But there was also a toilet stuffing incident that caused an overflow mess in grandma’s bathroom. And the best one of all? It had to be when boy number 1 age 2 1/2 decided to draw with permanent black marker all over the wall just hours before his brother’s first birthday party. As a rookie mom I constantly looked for terrible twos help from my friends and family. I think I was seeking approval because I attributed my kids mistakes as failure on my part. I was seeing them through the eyes of an adult.
By the time number 4 arrived eight years later I had metamorphosed into a completely different parent. Something happens to you when you’ve had 4 kids. You start to realize they are all different and that the mistakes they make are par for the course. You also realize helicopter parenting is just not practical anymore.
By the time they hit 8 or 9 your toddlers will have grown into some pretty great kids. I’ve found that the more relaxed we are the better we connect with our toddler. So relax a little.
Does our toddler have tantrums? You betcha. Do we feel like we need terrible twos help? Not at all. We take it in stride and try to see the world from her viewpoint. And it works. That’s exactly what Dr. Klein suggests in her book. It doesn’t matter if you are first time parent of a toddler or have a large family like we do.
If you are a new parent dealing with toddler tantrums, take some advice from Dr. Klein’s book. You will be surprised at how many times a tantrum can be averted with a few strategic changes in your parenting behavior. Toddlers are people too, and how we treat them has a massive impact on their adult personalities and their future problem solving abilities. That’s the biggest take away from this book.
Terrible Twos Help: 10 Shaming Techniques Parents Should Avoid
All ten shaming techniques are part of Tovah Klein’s new book: How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success. She tells readers that shaming toddlers will stunt their growth and block their ability to have empathy toward others.
“If a child is repeatedly made to feel ashamed, then he becomes preoccupied with himself and getting his needs met and an overwhelming belief that there is something wrong with him. He can’t even begin to take on the task of relating to others, let alone caring for them,” Klein writes to parents seeking terrible twos help.
As parents we’ve all been guilty of shaming our toddlers. We aren’t perfect. And for most of us, we do it unconsciously.
Klein urges parents to try not to push the shame button on their toddlers. “The challenge for us as parents is giving children between ages two and five enough freedom to start making some of their own choices, so they can start making – and owning – their mistakes.”
Klein’s tips on toddler tantrums are simple. She suggests we pull back a little and remember that our children are learning. Learning means trial and error. So as parents we need to direct less, withhold criticism, and let our toddlers try things on their own. Of course we will always be there to help and comfort them when they are frustrated or uncomfortable. She also encourages parents to place less importance on guidelines for toddler development. Our kids are remarkably all different. They grow in fits and spurts. Regression is normal. If your toddler reaches a milestone and then takes a couple of steps back, it’s okay.
About Tovah Klein:
Dr. Klein is the director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development. She and her team study children’s social and emotional development, the influence of parents on children’s development, and the experiences of being a parent in the early years. She has served as a developmental advisor for Sesame Street and is on the advisory boards for Room to Grow, Rawanda Educational Assistance Project, and NYC Voices of Childhood. How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success is her first book. You can visit her online at: tovahklein.com
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book free of charge. I was not paid to write this review.