Week 4 Project
Choose one “do” tactic to work on at a time—resist trying to remember and apply all of them. Successfully using a single approach several times will help you make those actions feel more natural and routine; once you feel entirely comfortable knowing how and when to distract your toddler, for example, or put his anger into words, then try to add another tactic to your repertoire. Likely, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to give each one a shot!
Be Open to Change
Cliché as it may be, it’s difficult to change old parenting patterns—especially if you learned to deal with tantrums from your parents. For example, if your parents expected you, as a child, to instantly calm yourself once you became worked up (“Stop it, get hold of yourself!”), you’ll likely have trouble giving your own child time to return to his emotional equilibrium.
Be patient with yourself: Old habits are hard to break, but just the sheer fact that you’re reading this course means you’re being proactive about changing. And changes in your own behavior can have huge—and calming!—payoffs for your toddler.
If you can’t think of a single one of these Do’s once your child’s temper flares, just sit on the floor with him. You may be amazed at how much quicker the tantrum will pass when he can sense your support for his feelings.
Read all seven steps in this series: