Friday, May 13, 2016

The Temper Tantrum

When your child has an all-out temper tantrum it can be maddening, frustrating, hilarious, troubling, perplexing, time-consuming, etc., etc., etc. A new parent approached me a few weeks ago to ask how best to manage their 1-year old's tantrums. Children can be VERY young , less than a year old even, when they begin expressing themselves with all-out screaming fits.

I think there are two main things a parent should do right away. First, always make sure there is nothing hurting the child. You would hate to ignore a screaming child when she has a pin stuck in her behind or something, right? But when you know she has a clean diaper, her belly is full, and nothing terrible happened, then you move to the second thing you should do.

Always reassure your child that you love him. Give him a hug and a kiss, and verbalize your love. Even when you know your child is reacting to an adult's, "No, you can't have that", you affirm your love. You are reinforcing that your love is unconditional and that no matter how upset she is or how crazy out of control he is, you love him.

Now comes the tricky part that really depends on the situation. Often temper tantrums come when a child is tired. That's easy to remedy - just put him to bed! And often young ones just need to blow off steam. Pop her gently in her crib or a playpen to scream it off for a little while. Put on some quiet music, gently reassure her you are right there and you love her very much. Most of the time children settle themselves and go to sleep.

Sometimes temper tantrums come when he wants something that he can't have. Please remember that you are the adult. Your "no" should mean "no". Don't give in. If he screams and cries and stomps his feet and you give him what he wants anyway he will learn really quickly how to get whatever his heart desires. Another no-no is to make deals. By making deals with your little ones you are teaching them they can still get their way. Again, your no should mean no. But be consistent with your rules. It confuses a child to be allowed to have something one day and not the next.

Effective techniques include sitting behind your child and wrapping your arms around his body in a gentle hug, helping him to calm himself. Another one is to place the child in a safe place, a crib or a playpen, but just as soon as you hear the child quieting down, reward him by allowing him to get up. Once the child is old enough to reason with, you should ask the child if he thought about anything. Guide him into recognizing that while you love him very much, you do not like the screaming and he is never allowed to throw his toys. It is disrespectful. "What is a better way? Yes, use your words."

I hope that helps!  And now for a refashion...

Here is a very pretty dress that I wore many times. But it was just a little tight in the hips on me and sure enough when I bent over it ripped. No worries, I just patched it back up. But then it happened again. Alright, now I just need to admit that it doesn't fit me. What to do?

Refashion into a top, of course:

 I just shortened the sleeves, and cut right below the back zipper. I hemmed it up and in about one hour it was ready for me to wear.

I am wearing one of my steampunk necklaces I created out of keys, buttons, and watches.

And the back...