Tantrums

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.

Theo: No!

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.

Frustration.

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”.

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