Have you seen that quote that’s made the rounds that says “Parenthood, the scariest hood you’ll ever go through”? All I have to say is YUP. It’s the most incredible, joyous, and rewarding job in the world, but also incredibly difficult and scary at times. I shared some of my struggles from the baby phase a couple of weeks ago, and today I join fellow mamas to talk about the raw mama moments of toddler tantrums. Let me start off by saying tantrums are a whoooole different ballgame.
B&B are 21 months old. We’ve been dealing with tantrums for a solid six months now. I’d love to say they are getting easier and that my husband and I are now experts at dealing with them, but that would be a lie and you know I like to keep it real.
My kids are very “spirited.” They are active and inquisitive, and since there are two of them, there is a LOT of copying and imitating going on. These are great attributes until the tantrum phase kicks into full gear. So what are we dealing with currently and how are we dealing with it? Keep on reading…
Oh the meltdowns! One minute B&B are so happy and the next minute the apocalypse is upon us. If I’m extra lucky, they are hit with the apocalypse scenario at the same time, which is always a treat 😉 There’s really nothing fun about the meltdowns and I’m sure you’ve all seen or experienced them as a parent or onlooker. The crying, screaming, flinging of arms. Tantrums are especially challenging when there aren’t options to change the setting or environment… we just have to deal with them. Example: they don’t want to sit in their carseats but we have to go somewhere. Or they are in the stroller, decide they’re totally over it and want to get out and run around. Or bed time (always an adventure!). Or they don’t want to sit in a high chair while we’re at a restaurant (which we rarely do these days for fear of such meltdowns btw). The biggest key for us in these scenarios has been distraction tactics and making sure they aren’t over tired or hungry. And when all else fails (even when it doesn’t), wine usually helps (for us, not them!).
Right now we have one culprit in the biting department. Poor Braxton is on the receiving end with the bruises and marks to prove it. Brylie is sneaky, and sometimes we’re able to catch her in the act while other times Braxton’s wailing is the indicator. To be honest, we haven’t exactly figured out how to deal with this one but I did just order this book on Amazon per some recommendations. We remind her that teeth aren’t for biting and that it hurts Braxton, mommy and daddy when she bites her brother. Hopefully it works soon and her poor brother gets a break!
This has got to be one of my least favorite things to deal with. It started with Brylie and soon transferred to Braxton after he learned a thing or two while watching his sis (#twinproblems). I’m pretty sure this stems from the flood of emotions they feel when they simply can’t communicate exactly what they want. These sweet toddlers also have a LOT of new feelings and from what I’ve read, they’re not yet able to regulate and manage the full spectrum of emotions they feel. When Brylie first started banging her head, we thought we needed to ignore her so as not to enable the behavior by overtly acknowledging it. Well, we abandoned that game plan after she developed a giant bruise on her forehead and we caught her banging her head even when we weren’t anywhere too close (i.e., not just doing it for attention). I found this article to be really helpful (although I felt like a terrible mom after realizing I shouldn’t have been ignoring her 😩). Now when we see her outbreak we put her in a safe space (our arms) and tell her we understand she’s upset and that we are here for her. The head banging has gotten a bit better, but we do have to be quick to catch her if we see the meltdowns escalate, especially if they are outside on the concrete or somewhere not safe.
Moral of the story is that toddlerhood is a new phase and not exactly the easiest for parents or for toddlers. Janet Lansbury has a great book that has been really helpful putting things into perspective and gives great tips on how best to deal with toddlers. Spoiler alert: provide boundaries, offer plenty of attention and guidance and most toddlers will thrive. I highly recommend it if you’re struggling through this phase too!
Anyone else have anything they are going through to share? Tips? Advice? Encouragement? I know we’re just getting started so we could use whatever you’ve got!
Also, instead of sharing pictures of my twin toddlers in the midst of a tantrum, I thought I’d share a recent outing that ended with a screaming, flailing, muddy little boy who didn’t want to leave the ‘agua’ and his sis who decided to bite her brother in the bike trailer on the ride home. Let’s just say everybody in the neighborhood could hear us 🤦🏻♀️.