Saturday, August 16, 2008

I consider myself an expert.

A Guide to Understanding and Dealing with Your Toddler

Do you have a child under 3 living in your home? Do you find yourself in a state of constant confusion and frustration trying to figure out just what the little guy wants or needs at any given time? Does it seem like you can't predict from one moment to the next what will trigger a meltdown?

After several months of intensive research, I've compiled a list of all the things guaranteed to cause tantrums and irrational displays of emotion in my own toddler. By memorizing this list and making sure not to EVER perform any of these actions, you will be one step closer to a peaceful, quiet, tantrum-free household. Keep in mind this list is only a starting point; your own toddler may have different triggers, or be that rare child that never gets upset (yeah, right).

Disclaimer: This list may not be applicable to all children in all situations. If you have tried to avoid every trigger on this list and your child still acts irrationally, the author is not responsible for gray hairs, high blood pressure, curse words, or stress-induced vices (such as eating or alcohol consumption) that may result from constant exposure to tantrums and/or whining.

Tantrum Triggers to Avoid at All Times:
  • Letting different types of food touch each other.
  • Using the wrong placemat at meal times.
  • Using any placemat at meal times.
  • Expecting the toddler to sit in their seat at meal times.
  • Expecting the toddler to eat at meal times.
  • Forcing a toddler to be buckled into a carseat.
  • Forcing a child to sit in a carseat instead of the preferred location of the front seat, or even more fun, the middle console between the seats.
  • Forcing a toddler to get into a car at all and leave the house when they have other plans.
  • Touching anything without pre-approval from the toddler. For instance my toddler has not approved me resting my elbow on the console of the car while driving, so if I do this he is sure to throw a fit.
  • Turning the pages of a book. Or turning them incorrectly.
  • Not turning the pages of a book.
  • Putting juice/milk/water in the wrong cup. Putting a straw in a cup.
  • Not putting a straw in a cup.
  • Singing the wrong song. Singing while they are singing. Not singing while they are singing.
  • Insisting that the toddler get in the bathtub.
  • Insisting that the toddler get out of the bathtub.
  • Putting on the wrong clothes. Not allowing them to go naked in public.
  • Taking clothes off, especially pajamas in the morning before going to daycare.
  • Anything involving brushing -- teeth or hair.
  • Not letting them touch the cat with "mean hands."
  • Letting the cat touch them without permission.
  • Walking to one side of the room when the toddler wants you on the other side. Sitting in a different spot than they want you to sit in.
  • Breathing.
This is just the basic list. There are several more advanced lists covering subjects such as Avoiding Tantrums While Travelling (first tip: don't travel with your toddler) and Special Circumstances: Things That Set Them Off in Public Places Such as Church or the Library.


LauraC said...

This list is AWESOME. I may have to make my own list.

Julie said...

Perfect, just perfect!

Joanna said...

Well, that really cleared things up, didn't it? LOL.

Steph said...

Yup, I think you've covered almost all of it! Love it!

I nominated you for an award- stop by and pick it up sometime!