Follow these tips to avoid toddler tantrums
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Thursday, January 17, 2013
1/17/13 at 2:19 AM
Dear Doctor K: My toddler has frequent temper tantrums, and it's impossible to calm him down once he gets going. I'd rather learn ways to head off his tantrums in the first place.
Dear Reader: My pediatrician colleagues here at Harvard Medical School tell me that tantrums are your child's way of letting you know that you're not meeting his basic needs for sleep, food, reassurance, independence, calm and safety.
Here are some tips our pediatricians say should help:
A great new short, inexpensive e-book has a wealth of good information about this subject: "Taming Your Child's Temper Tantrums" by Harvard Medical School's Dr. Victoria Rogers McEvoy and Karen Weintraub. You can learn more at my website, tulsaworld.com/DrK
- Avoid hunger pangs Low blood sugar can make kids cranky. Bring healthy snacks with you to avoid a meltdown. Good options include raisins, cheese and apple slices.
- Make sure your child is well-rested Most children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night. Don't bring a sleep-deprived 2-year-old to the grocery store and then expect the child to behave perfectly.
- Avoid overstimulation Whether it's a visit with relatives or a birthday party, a young child can process only so much excitement. The initial enthusiasm can quickly give way to tears. If you see signs that your child is beginning to get overexcited - such as hyperactivity and silliness - remove him or her from the setting for a few minutes to get calmed down.
- Keep your child active Energetic children may need physical outlets to help avoid emotional meltdowns.
- Be consistent and have a schedule Children love predictability - even predictably bad news like it's time to go to bed.
- Be in control You are in charge, not your 2-year-old. But if the child is craving independence, give him or her a sense of control by offering some limited choices. If he's refusing to eat vegetables, offer a choice between broccoli and green beans.
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106