As I am writing this, my cute almost 2-year old baby just finished a small tantrum session. It is early in the morning and somehow, in the middle of what I was expecting to be a very quiet and soothening early beginning of the day, his screams filled the space. True, it was too good and peaceful to be true.
Somehow, in the last 12 years, I got used with those aggressive raw outbursts of energy. They can last between 10 minutes and one full hour, with the latter case being not only ear-deafening for everyone which unfortunatelly happens to be around, but a very shaking experience for the baby too. I am personally used to work and live and find my peace in the middle of the noziest ambiance, so no wonder that once in a while I am also able to finish some complicated articles or just do my usual chores when the baby is screaming from the top of his lungs.
Whatever I was trying to do at the beginning, was deemed to fail. He had his own screaming program and any intervention on my side only seemed to complicated a situation already too sounding. However, with a bit of inspiration and a little bit of professional help, I learned how to cope with them and I am ready to share some of my tips with my readers.
- Tantrums do not need to happen every day - thanks Gd - at the same time. It can be so for a while, but once the baby is growing up, they will most likely take place only once in a while. What my family therapist told me is that such outbursts are normal and part of the growing process. The baby started his life in the comfort of the mother's belly and now he is facing a new world with the challenges of independence, the first milestone being the independent walking. Indeed, growing up literally and psychologically hurts.
- In my case, I noticed that my baby is usually unhappy when I am not 100% focused on him. Which sounds selfish, but especially in case of single parenthood it makes a lot of sense. As I am working from home, I decided to diminish my working time during his active hours and do instead a lot of early morning, late evening work. I know, it sounds very complicated, but you might discover how easily we can adapt to various adverse situations. Right now, I am trying to do my work, while taking a break every 15 minutes or so, just to show him some little signs of attention. It goes smoothier.
- When you realize that it is too much and maybe you are at the limit of your nerves, close your eyes and count until 10 or as much as you need to calm down. It is very important that the baby doesn't feel your nervosity. Screaming when he screams or any other aggressive reaction only makes things worse.
- Try to talk with him on a low, calm voice: show him that you understand what he is going through, hug him tight and bring him some water. However, at the end of the tantrum crisis, he and only he, the baby king will decide to stop when.
- Asking for help is not a shame. If you feel overwhelmed and at the end of your powers - especially when you are the only parent taking care of the kid, this is a feeling you experience quite often - ask a therapist or a friend for help and advice. It is always important to know you are not alone and share your experience with other parents going through the same situation or at least having been through that stage of the baby life.