Ah! What a pleasure it is to see you bond with the little one so beautifully. Now tell me how does it feel when the baby tugs at the natural strings and you respond so beautifully? Oh! How well you understand her baby gestures and sudden signals that make you turn around to rush by her side whenever she needs you. Yes! A weak smile from the baby tells you something is wrong? A minor rash on the little body cannot go unnoticed. You take half day leave as your baby was in a rough mood in the morning, you reach home to be received by a grumpy little face … next she throws the doll and runs into your arms crying out… God knows why? You close your eyes to thank God for sending you home on time and you hug your baby in a way that is warm, snug and full of love. The baby sleeps on your shoulder and gets up to find you right there by her side … the little hand touches your face to express … Mom! You are my guardian, my angel … I love you.
The First Tantrum
Some days … yes! Some days are unforgettable for the unusual reasons. These days caused stress and strain for the two of you . One day you notice that your toddler whimpers for just everything. She is uncomfortable and her behaviour is not regular. You are at her beck and call. She extends her arm and signals for your ear phones and you abide… she is happy for only for a while. Yes! The whining continues and the baby kicks in your lap, pulls your hair in frustration, climbs down and wails her heart out. No fever…No cold … no hunger pangs and no sign of weakness then what is this? Yes! What is it?
Ah! You wonder as it is disturbing. It is a different attitude … a kind of show of power … you feel vulnerable …and then the next time you are suddenly in for a shock …as her cry becomes ear piercing and she is so very adamant … she simply disagrees with everything … with her arms in the air and legs swinging … she wriggles as if to break free and in this struggle snatches your specs as if jealous of their closeness to you and breaks down like never before.
Tears stream down her cute face and her eyes feel so heavy as drops of tears hang on till the little one squeezes them shut to sleep over the tearful day …you look at the innocent face and your heart aches as that one drop lingers on her lashes and the little one let go a sob… aww! It was such a bad day.
Parenting Tip : Understand Baby Tantrums
Wait! Just wait a minute my dear! Before you take the episode too seriously … let me tell that all moms have to come face to face with such unpleasant situations but tantrums are just a part of growing up. A tantrum is simple frustration of the little one and you need to take it as simple learning moment. The first tantrum can be quiet unnerving but be prepared for the next one. Yes! It will come again and just gear yourself with a smile and be your patient self. Just be prepared with distractions and ideas that would change the environment.
Your little one is no tormentor, just recall the tear smeared face and that sob … your little baby is growing in mind and body. She is bright but not so quick to communicate …hence the tantrum.
Parenting Tip : Few Dont’s
You pick her up, coax her (perfect response) and then the little one communicates what she wants. Ah! It may be your phone, a toy or just the first tantrum to be in your cosy arms for the night. Now you are blessed with the mother’s will and energy levels. You give in! (You just fished in troubled waters).
Ah! The little human takes a step further …next time it is the remote of your television or yet another wish to be in your rocking lap. Oh! So now it’s your turn to rock the baby the whole night, be up and about the next morning, go to the office with stress- bags under your eyes and return home to the little one who slept through the day. Hey lady! Love thy self as you bring up the little bundle and see to it she remains a bundle of joy.
Now you barter rest with another distraction called the television. Doing this is akin to closing a Pandora box only to open another one. Yes! She is calm as she gapes at the colours, sounds and visual treat the idiot box offers. It may be of some relief for you to begin with but then you realise that the baby is addicted to it, doesn’t blink as she stares and not to forget the innumerable negativities of gun shots, deafening noises etc. that have ill effects. And any attempt from your side to wean her off television is met with further wails and tantrums.
You pat when the baby cries … you give in to all demands… just or unjust …bad… worse or worst. Ah! Just stop and ponder the next time you pat and give in when you are confronted with a tantrum. Yes! You got it… a pat is fine but once you ‘give in’ … the baby is rewarded with encouragement. There is a way out with such teething problems. A word of caution … The easy way out is seldom good.
Parenting Tip : Way Out of Tantrums
The best way is to distract the child. I still remember the first time my little one behaved unpleasantly. It was time to feed her. She whined to get off the chair , once down she threw her head backwards, lost her balance, fell off, hurt her head and then wailed uncontrollably. At a complete loss, I was taken aback. But then I showed her objects till the time she settled for the spoon, took the bowl of her baby food, tried to have mashed apple on her own. Gingerly I guided her hand to the bowl and then to her mouth. Next I took the spoon and fed her. She smiled as she got her food, in between the bites she again tried to hold the spoon… next we sat with two spoons as mine were directed to fill her tummy and hers was used to play with and mess around.” Then toasts and rolls were snatched but slowly she took a baby step to help me with the clean up. ‘Children learn by observing moms, dads and others around’ … This simple fact was the greatest practical experience and I realized it was my turn to be a great role model.
Whenever confronted with a tantrum … Be cool… respond with a smile that says ‘I understand’ …recall the golden rule, ‘toddlers have a short attention span so take advantage of it to bring in a change’ … yes! Surprise the child with a smile, say sweet nothings, play the clown or just rush outside or go to the terrace. Yes! A bit of fresh air and newer surroundings will do the trick? But above all it’s your attitude that counts … be soft yet firm and quick to introduce a change or a healthy distraction. It’s you who has to turn around the situation.
Tantrum is a tool used by children to communicate and it educates the smart mom to be smarter …yes! the baby is growing up and you need to be quick as a flash. Remember just one truth that your toddler cannot express enough … this simple thought bring about a whole lot of understanding and tremendous amount of patience that helps you to stay calm to understand your little one and help her to grow.