So, I am, and have been living in
hell the toddler tantrum days. Sometimes these days feel like weeks on top of weeks long, and some days the little shit is perfectly fine and content. I have never seen so much bi-polar activity in someone in all my life. I’m constantly looking at him, mouthing ‘what the fuck’, and wondering where on God’s green earth did this kid come from? And then, I realized that every parent goes through this struggle, and that comforts me a little. I am not alone, and surely not the only one who feels homicidal most some days. I would like to share some ways that I cope with this terror toddler that pretty much runs our household and our lives.
- When your toddler is screaming at the top of their lungs, follow suit. When Liam is acting a fool and throwing a fit, I do what any other mature mother would do: I scream and throw a tantrum… Louder and more dramatic than his. This stops him dead in his tracks to stop and look at how ridiculous his mother is being. It’s two fold: I get out the aggression that was building up towards him, and he starts laughing and comes over to me and we wrestle or some shit. Tantrum eliminated…
- Turn up the TV. I mean like really, really loud. This confuses them and they are in awe by the loud noises erupting from the magic box. If you’re a “kill two birds with one stone” kind of gal like I, then go ahead and turn the channel to ID to watch a continuous feed of murder shows. Why? It reminds you that it isn’t worth the jail time. That’s why. You’re welcome.
- Go to your room! Normally you put the kid in time out. But guess what? Most (younger) toddlers do not grasp the idea of “time out,” so do yourself a favor and put yourself there instead. Shut the door and lock it (especially if your little booger can open the door) and wait it out. It gives them time to chill out, and you get a little peace as well. Lay on the bed, take a pull or two from that bottle of bourbon that you got hidden in your closet, or whatever in the hell you want to… After all, it is your time out.
- Ignore the screaming demon. This usually works because the kid is so out of their mind when they are throwing a fit, you can’t reason with them anyways. Once they see that they aren’t getting a rise out of you, they’ll quit. It’s like magic really. Black magic. But sometimes this can just piss them off even more. Take caution if you take this route.
- Benedryl. Enough said. Unless they are in that small group of children that it causes excitability instead of the desired affect. Nobody wants that shit either. I would like to clarify that I have never done this to my child, although its been very tempting. But, if you want to drug your child, I’m not judging. You do what you have to do. You’re the one who knows how much bullshit you can take.
- Call for backup. Or post crazy stuff on Facebook to get the attention of someone so they will volunteer to come over and help, because they are legit concerned for your child’s safety (ummm… not speaking from experience or anything…..). My two sisters have saved my ass a couple of times since we have moved back, and I am grateful. Also, my cousin and his girlfriend. Of course he is always so well behaved for others…. A complete angel.
- Take something to make you go to sleep. Whats the worst that can happen, really? So what if the house is tore up when you awaken? You slept well… Actually, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
- Take a bath, but LOCK the door. Same idea as locking yourself in your bedroom, but with the perks of a good bath. I’m not sure if your kid is like this, but my son will take any opportunity to get in the tub, especially if I am soaking. He will get in with his clothes on. He gives no fucks. He also likes to point at my chest and say “boobies” which is so awkward. So, I am warning you now. If your kid cannot open the door just yet, he/she will be before too long.
- Let them scream it out, but never, and I mean NEVER give in. If you give in, you have lost the battle. Do not let that little shit win, no matter how easy you know it will make your life to give in to their antics. Pair this up with ignoring or throwing a louder and more dramatic tantrum, and you will succeed. Sometimes you can’t be on the same team. You just can’t.
- Call or text your husband and threaten to leave. This has worked on my husband a few times. He’ll come home quick. When the husband gets home, leave, and come back when you want. Or lock yourself in your room. Or take a bath. Let him deal with it.
- Use curse words. Tell them how you really feel. Sometimes the only way I can stay sane is just telling Liam what an asshole he is being. He doesn’t understand, so therefore I do not think that it is verbal abuse. It helps me cope. And Liam gets to learn a new word. My husband thinks it’s immature. I disagree.
- You can try a diversion. If your child is completely out of his mind, this may not work. Figure out the early signs of a tantrum for your toddler and try to advert their attention else where: snacks, toys, etc. This usually will not work with Liam, but he’s a freak of nature, so he is not typical. It might work with your child though.
- Give that kid a firm hug. Not a bear hug that will squeeze the life out of him or anything (that’s abuse). Don’t go all cuddly on them either. A firm hug to let him know that you are going to regain control to help him, and that you are there for them and that this to shall pass. Just giving them that reassurance helps sometimes. This even helps with my child…
- Throw that kid in the bed! Little Suzy is probably tired. After all, she has been running around like a lunatic since sun-up. If she protests, do it anyways… Like a boss. Because you are the boss, right?
- Smile at them. DO NOT show fear or the fact that you are annoyed with the behavior. That will only make things worse. He wants attention in any form or fashion. So smile, be happy, drown him out… But make eye contact and be in control. YOU ARE THE BOSS!
- Change the venue. When we were living with my in-laws for a few weeks, I found something that worked so well for our tot. When I would come home in the evening, Liam would be pissed off that I was there and would start throwing a fit as soon as I walked in the door. I would take him to the back bedroom, lights off, and sat quietly with him until he stopped. And 9 times out of 10, it worked. This is usually my last go to, only because I have to sit with him, and I have shit to do, for real.
I hope this list helps! I’m sure I will have some judgmental people reading this. That’s okay to. I am not here to please. I am here to give you the real facts. Everyone parents differently, and I prefer to parent my child with a little (sometimes sick) humor. If I didn’t, I would be in the mental asylum, or in jail… I am not one of those moms who is afraid to let my child express themselves, and I surely don’t follow any books. My kid, my life, my rules. He is very loved and very spoiled, and we are a work in progress on being stern with him. It is hard to not give in to his demands, because he is just so damn cute. So, in reality, I like to write this stuff for entertainment only, but sometimes I surprise myself, and this shit can be helpful. With that said, thanks for reading!
What techniques to you employ when dealing with your toddler’s tantrum?!