Thursday, February 3, 2011

Toddler Temper Trantrums x 2

They aren't 2 yet, but they have already mastered the tantrum.

The hard one to handle is when they really want something but don't have the words or signs to let me know what it is. I feel so bad. They are very insistent and obviously they know what they are pointing to, and its me who fails. Happily this type of tantrum will diminish as they learn more words. For now, I just keep trying to figure out what they are asking for and when I find it, repeat the word back to them in hopes they will pick it up sooner. Being able to nod and shake their heads has helped some since I can now sometimes just say the word to find out if I'm guessing the right thing before getting it.

The next set of tantrums come from the 'he has it and I want it' or 'I had it but he took it from me' mix. With twins this is very common. And it comes less from really wanting what your brother has than wanting to take it from him. If one wants his brothers toy, but his brother doesn't want to share (not sharing is a valid response sometimes) then I do my best to distract him with something, anything else, while telling him that his brother is playing with and he needs to wait his turn. Most of the time it works. When it doesn't, there can be crying, screaming, grabbing and hitting. I try my best to hold and the offending boy to keep him from hurting his brother and explain again that it's not his turn. When the toy/book/food has already been stolen, then I need to first try to get it returned willingly (please give that back to your brother) or with force if necessary. Then the victim is happy and I need to go back through the "he doesn't want to share right now" with the thief. Lather, rinse, repeat.  We get this lots in my place.

The last set of tantrums are the "I want something I can't have" version. The most common of these is Nathan wanting the computer/phone/camera/electronic/boiling kettle/etc. So far, we've lost a video camera and a point-and-shoot camera this way (he's fast). I've tried toy versions and they don't work. I even took the battery out of our second phone handset and gave it to him, but nope. He wants the real thing and wants to be able to throw it. And as for things that are dangerous, well, obviously I can't even let him try. So we work on explaining 'not for babies/boys/kids' and 'that is dangerous' since I'm trying hard not to use no very often.

While its frustrating, so far I haven't lost my patience. Actually, sometimes its hard not to laugh. Tantrums can often involve ending up on the floor "crying". But to get to the floor, its a slow safe process (no flinging). Followed by regular lifting of the head and stopping crying to see what the reaction to the tantrum is. Its amusing to watch. Often times, it will end instantly when something more fun is spotted with no intervention by me.

These pictures are from a short tantrum when I wouldn't let Nathan hold the DLSR (not only the only functioning camera left, the most expensive one). This time, because it would take to long to throw himself to the floor, he decided to turn against the wall instead. Of course, since I already had the camera, I had to take the pictures.


K J and the kids said...

Pretty cute even when tantruming.
Glad you are taking it all in stride.
My first set would take turns tantruming normally. So if one started screaming the second one would stop and let his brother have a go at it.
This last set....OMG...when one starts up...he start up just to get attention.
I have a blog post about this very thing.

Any ways. Good luck ! It lasts for a LONG LONG time. :)

Mom of twins! said...

I feel your pain with the trantrums!!! If its not one of my boys, its the other!! It's always over the toys/fighting!!