Toddler Tantrums: who needs em!?
When you have children the entire world is quick to tell you how precious they are, but no one seems to want to talk about the rough stuff. You know what I’m talking about. Terrible twos? No. Ya’ll...two is a piece of CAKE compared to 3.
At age three, children start to develop a sense of self. “I am me. I am not you. And therefore I should have an opinion and a CHOICE in all things.” In short, this is where parenting gets real. Real hard.
My therapist and I have talked at length about the importance of fostering a sense of self while remaining firm and providing structure. This phase of life isn’t for the faint of heart and this momma struggles!
This last year when the tantrums were at their worst, I came up with a new tactic worth trying. You know, the kind us moms come up with in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep because we’re busy worrying about what kind of parent we want to be? The kinds of children we’re raising?
I decided I’d throw some oils in a glass jar with some cotton balls and call it a breathe jar, offering it to my toddler at her next tantrum and asking her to take some deep breaths. Low and behold, it WORKED! And after speaking to my therapist about it a while later, she enlightened me as to why:
First, it gave my child the opportunity to do it herself. She could go get the jar whenever she felt like she needed it, open it and take some deep breaths. She didn’t need me to do it or get it for her.
Next, it gave me the opportunity to teach her how to calm herself down. Learning early to take deep breaths when we are upset is a crucial skill. One they will use time and time again as they get older.
Finally, the use of essential oils that are familiar and accepted by her (those we’ve used before to promote calming and peace) will help train her brain to associate them with being calm and help to quell the tantrum.
I mean...how cool is THAT!? Who’s running out to make themselves a breathe jar?! Try throwing in some Peace + Calming, Lavender or Stress Away - whatever you would normally use to help promote a calming atmosphere for your tot. I want to hear how it works in your household!