athomeparentingwithJoFrost2017 - 92
'Dealing with tantrums really begins
with understanding what they are
and why they occur,' says Jo.
'In early toddlerhood, we see
children as young as 18 months show
great displays of physical emotion.
'For some, that may be just a
high-pitched scream, but for others,
it could be a complete meltdown with
legs and arms flailing.
'Never received well by parents,
your first thought may be to want
to control such behaviour - which
is when it becomes taught, by either
the tantrum being pacified or by
giving in to what the child wants,
thus demonstrating the effect of such
Jo continues: 'As explained in my
book Toddler Rules, there are three
types of tantrums and when we
can understand which one is being
shown, we can respond to either
address the "mock" behaviour, set
up expectations for a "situational"
tantrum or get to the root of an
Tantrums won't go away
quickly - young children
have to learn the hard way
by doing something over
Pretending not to
hear / running away
'This old trick is a quick way for children
to get out of doing something they don't
want to do or just show defiance. If not
addressed, it gets worse and you will find
yourself constantly repeating yourself.
'The key to improving this behaviour,'
says Jo, 'is to be face to face when telling
your child what you need them to do.
Be calm and reward with immediate
gratification when the task is done.
'This response will encourage your
child to continue with the positive
behaviour and, in turn, they will start to
focus on that rather than the opposite.
'When out in public, gently give notice
in a conservational way, for example, that
you're leaving the park in 10 minutes.
This will help those children who need to
know the routine every minute.
'Remember bad behaviour traits can
be broken and reformed quickly so don't
despair,' says Jo. 'You will see results.'
'We do best when we can lead by
example as role-model parents to our
0 92 | JUN E 2 017
and over again until they
realise they can't get
a beautifully wellchildren. But this, of course, is not
mannered child and
easy because we are not perfect.
away with it.
you'll get all the credit.'
'However, through our mistakes we
can teach our children the importance
of honesty, good morals and saying sorry
for our actions,' says Jo.
'Teaching our children empathy and
'The desire to be accepted and liked by
making them more aware of how others
our peers is quite natural. The more
are feeling teaches consideration and gives
animated a child is, the more creative they
them the opportunity to develop more
can be in their "storytelling". When you
mindfulness every day.
find your child starts to exaggerate, it will
'Parents tend to think children are
be important to discuss with them why it
naturally loving and generous with their
is not great to do so and not necessary.
affection. While this is true up to a point,
'Young children do get wrapped up
for those loving sentiments to last, they
in the escapism of reality and fantasy,
must be reciprocated.
especially when in their toddler years. So
'Let your child see you demonstrate your
make sure your child learns the difference
love and affection for the people in your life.
from you,' Jo advises.
Kiss and hug your spouse regularly when
'Most parents know this is a phase but
the kids are around.
if you ever find it develops, discovering
'Talk to your children about how much
the underlying cause of the lying is
you love and appreciate their grandparents,
crucial to making sure it stops.
aunts, uncles, and cousins. And, of course,
'When children lie about brushing
don't let a day pass without expressing your
their teeth or what somebody said, just
affection for your child.
correct it in a non-confrontational way.
'Manners are key too and this can be
If they believe you'll be angry, they're
learned as soon as your child is old enough
more likely to lie in an attempt to try to
to talk,' says Jo. 'Again it is about showing
prevent the coming storm, so if you can
respect. That will certainly be beneficial
be relaxed and open, they may not feel
- especially to you. Everybody notices
the need to lie at all.'