How To Survive Tantrums In Young Kids and Toddlers

Parenting can be so fun. It can be so rewarding. Life changing. It can be all puppies, unicorns and rainbows. But it can also be a major pain in the ass. It can drain you. It can make you feel like you’re going insane. Welcome to toddler tantrums! They can happen any where, for any reason and usually without warning. Name a place and one of my kids has probably had a tantrum there. Home, the store, library, church, school, disney world! Yes even when visiting the “Happiest place on earth” a child can still have a tantrum.

Tantrums can often make you feel like throwing one yourself. Or just going to bed and hiding out.

But here is what I believe. There is a reason a child is throwing the tantrum, and if they are young they may not understand their big emotions and whats going on and be able to explain it to you. Heck, I’m an adult and I can’t always explain my big emotions! No matter their age, I have always talked to my kids about emotions. Telling them their emotions are ok. They are aloud to be angry, sad, happy, glad, and such. But we talk about best way to show emotions. Screaming, crying and kicking may not always be the best way to show emotions.
But talking will only take you so far with a toddler. So when that doesn’t work, what else is there to do?

Here is what I have learned over the years.

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1. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep!
Seems easy enough, right?! Who am I kidding, it is anything but easy! But sleep plays a major part in someones mood and ability to handle situations. So sleep is a good thing. A toddler who has missed a nap, or had a bad night, will probably throw a few tantrums that day.

2. Food!
Who hasn’t gotten grumpy when hungry?! I know I have. Before you go on an outing, even something as simple as grocery shopping make sure your little one is not hungry and bring along snacks. Snacks are your best friend in the parenting years!

3. Distractions.
When your little one is having a hard time and throwing a tantrum distraction are key. Depending on the the size of the tantrum and where you are. Sometimes its as simple as “Did you see that bird?!” Or insert child’s favourite animal. Ask them questions about their favourite animals. Suggest walking around the store to look for pictures of their favourite animal.
I keep a small notebook a pen and stickers in my purse for distractions. Works like a charm, most of the time!
Asking them questions about an activity, or anything really. I will ask “Hey, where do unicorns live?” or “Can you tell me about swimming”.

4. Counting. 
This falls into distractions, but it can help calm both you and your child. If we are in a store I will ask my child how far they think we will get in 10 steps. Or 20 steps. I will pick them up, take big steps, little steps, try to make a game of it.

5. Craft Time.
This of course depends on where you are. This works best at home. We usually turn to painting or play dough. I try to keep a good stash of crafts and stickers for rainy days or tantrum throwing days. The dollar store is a good place to find lots of stuff!

6. Bath Time!
Again, this one works when you are home. Bath time is always a winner in this house. Even for me! I love bath time! Its relaxing and fun! Especially when its dark and you can throw in some glow sticks! Glow sticks are my secret weapon!

7. Hugs and cuddles.
Sometimes it is something so simple that helps and makes everything better! A hug and some cuddles always works. Especially when home and we can get nice and cozy and watch a movie. Or build a fort and have a cuddle and read a book!

8. Go home.
Sometimes nothing will work when out and your best option is to just go home. That is totally fine. Home is safe, home is good. Home will help you keep your sanity.

9. Cry it out.
Sometimes the best thing you can do, given the reason for the tantrum, is to let your child cry it out and work out their emotions. A good cry is needed now and then, for everyone.

10. Get outside.
Depending on the weather and time of day, nature is always your best friend. Fresh air will do wonders for everyone. Sunshine on your face, birds singing, blowing bubbles! All good things that will help everyone!

11.  Try someone else.
All of my kids have been super, super, clingy to me. But sometimes, despite my best efforts, and putting my feelings aside, sometimes my kids just need someone else. Whether its my husband, my parents, or another family member, remember its a good thing that your child loves and feels safe with other people and that they can help! The more people that love and care about your child, the better!

Hope these help!

Something that you do that isn’t on this list? I would love to hear it.

Remember your child isn’t giving you a hard time, THEY ARE HAVING A HARD TIME!
It can be hard to keep your cool and your sanity, but your child is growing and learning. Everyone has big emotions, and we all have to learn what they mean and how to deal with them.

~ Michelle

 

Paint Chip Easter Egg Garland

I love crafts that I can do with the kids, and that the kids actually get excited about doing.We decided that we need to decorate for Easter. Last year we made this and the kids loved it, so of course this year we had to do it again!

Its an Easter Egg Garland!

What you will need for this:

– Paint chip samples
– Scissors
– Pencil for tracing
– String or ribbon
– Tape, glue, or a hole punch for ribbion

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The kids traced out egg shapes and cut out their own shapes.
I love that the kids are old enough to do most crafts completely on their own. Well my daughter isn’t, yet. But she enjoys crafts just as much as her big brothers.

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Either glue string on, tape it on, or use a whole punch on the paper eggs and put the string through.

Hang it up and enjoy!

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Happy crafting!

~ Michelle

Paper Carrots For Easter

My kids love crafts. My boys have always loved crafts and now they have so much fun because of their little sister.

So apparently we had to make some carrots, because they go with Easter, because of the Easter Bunny I guess.

So here is how we made some pretty awesome paper carrots!

You will need some paper, stapler, and paper cutter.

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We cut strips 1 inch wide and 1.5 inches wide.

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And fold to get the carrot shape you want. Staple on green, and you can cut the ends if you like.

And done!

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Blurry photo in thanks to some very excited kids trying to practice their photography skills!

Happy crafting!

~ Michelle

Rainbow Easter Eggs

Every Easter my kids look forward to dying the Easter Eggs.

We have always done it the same way, bowls of water and food coloring. It is usually messy, but still so much fun.

This year I thought we would try it a different way. Maybe with very little to no mess! Cut out the water all together. We decided to go with Rainbow Easter Eggs.

Here is what you will need:

-Hard boiled Eggs
-Ziploc Bags
-Food Coloring
– A place to dry the eggs

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First you will need to hard boil the eggs. When finished cooking let them cool down and dry.

Then you will place an egg in a Ziploc bag and add 2-3 drops of different food coloring onto the egg. (Or a lot of drops if you let the kids do it on their own!) We only used one Ziploc Bag and washed it out after each egg.

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Then comes the part the kids liked to call the “squishy” part. Let the kids rub the egg around in the bag until covered in food coloring. (Adding more colors if needed)

Next let them dry. If you have extra food coloring dripping off the egg simply wipe it off with a paper tower.

I made the egg holders myself with strips of paper, quick and easy to do. Cut a strip of paper, form a circle, cut on side and slide it together.

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And there you have it! You are done!
Find a nice place to display the kids new art work.
You can even use them as a pretty centre piece on the table for Easter dinner!

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Happy decorating!

~Michelle

Always Look For The Silver Lining

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

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This weekend was all about celebrating my daughter’s 3rd birthday. But to me it was so much more. There was a time that I never thought I would be able to have another baby. Then after years of struggling I finally got pregnant, just to miscarry a few weeks later. My heart was broken. I was broken, pieces missing forever. I was surprised when I managed to get pregnant again, and terrified. Her entire pregnancy I was scared I would lose her. I had a high risk pregnancy, and spent the entire time on bed rest. There was a time when I thought I would never get to this point. And now here we are, celebrating her 3rd birthday!

Every day I am so thankful for my children. Every day when I look at my girl, my rainbow baby, I am reminded that there is someone that will forever be missing from our family. Without that loss, my daughter wouldn’t be here now. It is so hard to explain the conflicting emotions that happen. My heart breaks for the baby I will never know, but my heart bursts with love for the children I do have.

My daughter is a constant reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned. There is good and bad, heartache and sorrow, but also so much love and joy in life.

There is always a silver lining. Always a point, or lesson to be learned. Sometimes, most times, its just incredibly hard to see at the time. Or at least thats what I like to tell myself on the bad days.

Bad days like when you fight with your husband after your child’s birthday party, and you are not exactly sure what started it. It was sort of the perfect storm of emotions, lack of sleep, and bad choice of words to be said by both parties. I will never understand the point to fighting, but I know there is a silver lining, a lesson to be learned. After the fight we always end up stronger. I just wish the heartache didn’t have to happen first.

So my point to all this, is that life is all about ups and downs, love and hate, tears and laughter. Really big heart breaking downs, really big huge living changing joy and love, or small bumps in the road – like fights, or small joys like waking up after a fight and finding out that your husband woke up early to clean the kitchen for you.

You just have to remember to look for the sliver lining in all things, big or small.

~ Michelle

Progress Not Perfection

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Two weeks ago I was on a roll. I was working out every day, eating healthy, had so much energy, I was getting so much done. It was great. Then March Break happened. My boys went away for the week with my parents and my husband decided to take a week off work. It was just my husband, my toddler, and myself for a whole week. I didn’t work out. I didn’t eat the most healthy items like I could have. I didn’t work. I honestly didn’t do anything that I had planned. I even threw out the to do lists that I wrote.

Do you know hat I did for the week? I was present. I was here. I was on the floor playing with my toddler. I was sitting on the sofa cuddled up with  my husband talking for hours. I was in the moment. And you know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Productive it terms of work? No. Productive in terms of self care?! YES!

Progress not perfection.

If this had happened before, if I had an entire week off from working out, eating healthy and work, I would completely flip out. I would fall into a deeper depression. I would think I ruined everything. But now I am finally learning that none of that is true.

Yes, I needed to do things, things had to get done. But the things I did do, spend every minute with my husband and daughter is also what I needed, what we all needed. My husband and daughter have never had that much time together to just play. It has been years since my husband and I have had so much time to talk. I don’t remember the last time we got to talk so much, have such deep conversations, discover new things about each other.

This past week went nothing like I planned, but it was everything I needed. I feel refreshed. I feel better. I feel more focused. I feel more at peace with myself, my husband, my life, with everything.

Things don’t always go as planned, slowly but surely I am learning that that is ok. Sometimes that we think we need is actually what we need.

~ Michelle

 

My Toddler Still Does Not Sleep All Night, Or On Her Own.

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Someone once asked me how it was going with my daughter. They were referring to her sleeping habits. I said it was the same: she never sleeps all night, I co-sleep with her still, and I have to lay down with her at night to get her to sleep. Their response “well you ruined her. You did this to yourself. She’s spoiled now.” And they turned and walked away.

I will never understand their response. How have I ruined my daughter? How is she spoiled because she knows she is loved and safe and I will be there no matter when she needs me?

Here’s the thing: my daughters sleep habits suck. They really suck. They have since the day she was born. And yes I am serious, right form day one.  I have talked about my daughters sleep issues multiple times. And at this rate I will continue to.

I am a mother, 24/7 I am a mother. If my child needs me in the middle of the night, I will be there. If I need to lay down with my child for 20 minutes, 30 mixtures or over an hour until she falls asleep I will. Because it is what she needs, and honestly, its the least I can do. Is taking an hour out of my day to lay in a bed with my toddler really such a horrible thing?

I have not ruined my daughter. I have not spoiled my daughter. I have loved my daughter and been there for her when she needs me. Her needs just tend to be a little bit different from other kids needs. My daughters issue is sleep. I don’t know why, all I know is that she needs me during that time and I will be there.

Kids grow up way too fast. My two little itty bitty boys are about to be 11 and 10 years old. I don’t know how this happened. My daughter is about to turn 3. Again, this seems impossible. She won’t need me forever, not like this, so while she does need me like this, I will be there. Just like my boys needs have changed since they were babies, my daughters needs will change as well.

Sleep is hit or miss now. Sleep is strange. Sleep is a crowded bed with too many people shoved in together. Sleep sometimes causes me to wake up with random bruises and scratches. Sleep is also a magical thing when I get to cuddle my daughter, feel her fall asleep in my arms, watch her sleep – she always looks so peaceful. When I go into my daughters room in the middle of the night and hold her in my arms and can instantly feel her little body relax and calm, it makes it all worth it.

My kids needs will change as they grow. I used to have to sleep with my son as he suffered through a few weeks of night terrors, now I’m lucky if I can get a hug out of him in public when he’s near his friends. Oh, and he now sleeps perfectly fine on his own.
My daughter? She will soon grow out of this, she already has started and will continue to learn how to calm herself and sleep on her own. Until she can do it fully on her own, I will be there for her.

I will be there for my kids in any way I can when they need me. I’m a mother, its part of my job.

~ Michelle