One day she’s your little angel and the next she’s throwing a tantrum over every little thing. But frequent outbursts don’t always mean behavioural problems, Jean Goh, principal of Da Little Preschool, explains. Sometimes, it may simply be because your toddler is unable to express herself and communicate her needs, leading to frustration.
We recap some points we learned from our recent Young Parents Toddler Seminar, which was held Saturday, Feb 28 at Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre.
When “terrible twos” becomes an apt name for your little one’s grouchy behaviour, Jean offers these tips to help tame that temper:
- Get down to your toddler’s level, and look her in the eye when speaking to her. This lets her feel like you’re speaking to her as an equal, instead of speaking down to her from above. Jean also suggests placing a hand on their chest or back and rubbing it in a gentle up and down motion to sooth your child.
- Use positive language when speaking to her. Instead of saying “no” suggest other options using phrases such as “how about…” or “let’s try this instead…” Also remember to reinforce positive behaviour with small praises. Never give in to a tantrum, Jean adds, as this will lead to her thinking that pitching a fit is an easy way to gain a treat.
- If you wish to use a timeout corner, avoid calling it a “naughty corner” or “bad corner.” Use “quiet corner” instead. Be sure that it’s a spot where she will remain within your sight, and always keep the timeout short.
- If you see your little one becoming restless or approaching the start of a tantrum, try creating a new distraction for her by changing activities, or say or do something that you know will make her laugh.