At 17.5 months, Theo has started throwing tantrums. Aren’t they suppose to start at 2 years old? Perhaps it only gets worse.
Here are my observations:
1. Putting on shoes
Me: Put on your shoes before we head out.
Me: You need your shoes on. It’s cold.
Theo: No! (Snatches shoes from my hands)
Me: Give Mama the shoe.
Theo: No! (Tries to put on shoes himself without any success)
2. Play time
He tries to attach the wagon to the toy train but fails. I show him how it’s done. He tries many many times and fail. The toy gets thrown across the room.
3. Meal time
Me: Open your mouth.
Theo: Spoon. Bowl.
Me: Ahhhhhh….open your mouth.
Theo: No! Spoon! Bowl!
I give him his spoon and bowl. He feeds himself.
I notice that “bad behaviour” such as throwing himself on the floor, throwing toys/ food, and hitting/ biting me or Daniel only happens when he’s frustrated. Our little boy is growing too fast. He wants to be independent yet he doesn’t know that he actually needs a helping hand.
Sometimes it’s because we adults are so preoccupied with our cool gadgets that we need a toy thrown in our faces to give these toddlers our full attention. Guilty at times.
Dealing with tantrums throughout the day is exhausting. There are days when I snap at Theo for pushing limits. Those are the days I feel like I’ve failed him. How can I expect a 17.5 months old to think like a logical adult?
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t correct the behaviour. He needs to learn to not throw toys/ food to begin with, however, as his mum, I need to address the underlying reason that triggers such behaviour.
When he got very frustrated while playing this afternoon, I picked him up, held him tight and told him I love him. He calmed down. He doesn’t need others to label him as “impatient”, “naughty” or “bad tempered”. He just needs “compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in”.