Achievable Quick Fixes for Tantrums from a 4-Year-Old
October 21, 2019
We all know kids are irrational. Especially those that fall within the 2-5 age range. Crazy thoughts like insisting upon instant gratification, impossible expectations, and miss communication run their little brains. Wikipedia calls a tantrum a hissy fit.My kid has several of those a day! Just how they learn to walk and talk, kids have to learn how to be rational creatures as well. That is so very hard to remember when you are in the parenting trenches. A good way to help you remember is to hear others’ stories and know that you are not alone! Here are some stories to help you survive those days when your kiddos try their hardest to break you! FYI: My Achievable Quick Fixes for Tantrums from a 4-Year-Old don’t aways work.
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They Always Wake on the Wrong Side of the Bed
She barely ever eats any of her dinners. Can you say- HUNGRY!
She is not a morning person- just like her mother.
Waking up is ok until she has to make a choice or until something does not go according to “her” plan. For example- I still help her get dressed. She likes to pick out the clothes. The girl wants me to get them out for her but can’t function to tell me what she wants to wear or probably doesn’t even know.
Quick-Fix- Get out her clothes the night before.
Quick Fix- Eat before getting dressed. This only makes things easier some of the time.
Quick Fix– Lower my expectations and wake her earlier! So we have more time for a slow morning.
Example 2- If the desired bowl and spoon for her cereal are not available, the shit hits the fan!
Quick Fix- I always do my best to make sure they are washed each day. This does not help when her preferences change, like switching it up from a kid spoon to the biggest possible spoon she can find in the kitchen. She doesn’t care if she can’t even fit the whole thing in her mouth. Picking battles is an important skill that has to be honed when dealing with kids.
Sleep is so important and waking up can be hard when she hasn’t been getting enough!
She is now 4 years old! She has been potty trained for about a year give or take some time. It was a struggle to achieve since it was right around when I had a broken foot! But we got there. She can prepare the toilet (with her seat so she doesn’t fall in), wipe, flush and wash her hands all on her own. Very often, especially when I am around, she calls for my help. I have given in so many times it’s routine now. She won’t need me to do this forever but sometimes it’s not convenient. I get frustrated with her but truly I am at fault for giving in. For more help with Potty Training check out The One Thing that Made Her “Get It!”
CONSISTENCY is the most important thing when teaching your children!
Not-so-Quick Fix– Stand my ground and get her doing the routine on her own. Be patient and consistent. PRAY for me! I am going to have to put my patient pants on. There will be waiting, fits from the bathroom, and possibly even accidents. I know she can do it and so does she! Mom is just easy.
Dinner Time- She NEVER Eats.
She is picky.
She just got diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Mom is distracted during the last snack of the day and she eats too much of it.
As previously stated mornings are hard most of the time because I know she is hungry. She is hungry because she does not eat her dinner. She never had trouble eating gluten before we found out she has Celiac disease but I do think it made her uncomfortable in ways we could not see or know. Now that we do know I am hoping for some improvement in the eating area but hah who am I kidding she is 4. Time is my friend. She will get better with time as she grows and remains on her Gluten-Free diet.
All kids this age are picky. The rule in my house is you have to try the food before you say, “it’s not my favorite” and refuse to eat any. “It’s not my favorite sounds so much nicer than ” EWW” or I don’t like this.” We don’t make them eat things but encourage them to try everything. I don’t make anything different if the kids don’t like what I serve. They eat or go hungry.
Quick Fix- As long as they try a taste they can be excused. Plates are saved until bedtime in case anyone changes their minds about eating.
Not-so-Quick Fix– Consistency! Stick to the same expectations each night and although the kid might not be happy- they will know what to expect.
My son even tries a taste of things he has had before and not liked. I think we may even have changed his mind a few times! I am hopeful for Lily but she would rather go to bed hungry than even try some things.
As for the distracted mom- that’s only gonna get worse as my kids get more homework and extracurriculars.
Quick Fix Have some portioned-out snack choices ready to grab and allow no more than that first grab.
Siblings have fought since the beginning of time!
Wanting what the other has.
Some topics include but are not limited to: I want the plate he has, I want the toy he has, I want the pencil he has, I want your attention while he has it… you get the picture.
Quick Fix- Do my best to distract with a change of subject. Or sometimes I even stop and ask both of them how they think we can make everyone happy.
Quick Fix- Try to add soem one on one time in the day for each party.
Quick Fix– Usually this can be about filling the power cup so choose another acomplishment or goal they can control.
Usually, the struggle occurs during one of those other peak times like in the morning when she is Hangry or in the afternoon when my attention is on homework and dinner cooking.
She loves to climb in the van on her brother’s side of the vehicle. This is a pain in the butt for him, especially if he is already on his way in first. That boy is a damn angel with the stuff he lets her get away with. I always praise him for how patient he can be with her.
The 4 other most important parts of surviving the Temper Tantrum stage- and avoiding as many as possible?
1. Pick your Battles
This is so much easier said than done. I try hard to choose the important battles and let some of the small stuff go. Examples of small stuff include- wanting a specific color cup after a drink has already been poured, wanting to take the longer or a harder way to do something when we have plenty of time, choosing clothes to wear for the day that may not be mom’s top choice.
I truly mean it when I said this is the best advice I ever received about parenting and I got it before I was even a parent. One of my mentor teachers shared it with me as I was becoming a teacher.
Yes, it is hard to do when you are tired or sick. It is always important though. My neighbor always tells me each time I give in to a temper tantrum that means she will throw a fit 10 times longer next time just to get that same “mom gave in” result. This is why picking battles is so important because once the line is drawn going back is not the direction you want to travel.
3. Attention Cups Filled
Kids are more likely to be happy and willing to follow directions when we have filled their attention cups. You giving them your attention and time means they don’t have to get creative when seeking it out. What I mean to say is when your attention is on them, they don’t have to get creative as to how to get it. Check out more info on the Filling Your Kids Attention Cup Here!
4. Power Cups Filled
This means kids have a sense of control or accomplishment. They have the power! This one can be difficult when you are in a hurry or are already yourself on the brink of losing your patience. The important part is to try and give a choice. Get the choice to have the same end result you are aiming toward. For example- getting dressed, you ask “will you put on socks or pants first?” or eating dinner- “will you eat your meat or your vegetables first?” It’s almost like they have a quota each day of power. Thinking of ways you can fill it will truly help prevent some tantrums.