Why Your Toddler’s Tantrum May Be a Good Thing

Tantrum and Kids

Tantrums are one of the many aspects of the so-called “terrible twos” that make these early years so “terrible”. As children learn to grapple with their feelings and process emotions along with what goes on around them, tantrums can develop in their wake. While tantrums are often seen as a bad thing, there may be a silver lining.

Getting it All Out

As an adult, you may know how stress-relief can help to significantly change your mood. The same can be true for kids with tantrums. Before they are able to learn about, understand, and know to rely on coping mechanisms like exercise or even a nap, kids may resort to crying, whining, and throwing a fuss. Tears actually contain the stress hormone cortisol. When we cry, we are literally releasing stress from our bodies, which is what kids do when they cry while frustrated. Kids tend to cry for many reasons and not just when they are sad. Tears have also been found to lower blood pressure and improve emotional well-being, and for kids, releasing tears can be just what they need to relieve the stress and frustration they are feeling. For many kids, after an initial outburst, their moods improve. Especially for young children, this can be a sign that your child is at least expressing emotion and getting it out instead of keeping it bottled up inside.

Sleep is the Key

Kids often tend to get fussy when they are tired, so problems can be especially frustrating for them to deal with when they are already trying to process other feelings. A good cry or tantrum could take a lot of energy out of them, even if it is just a small or short burst, allowing them to sleep much better once they finally calm down. For kids who are still learning how to process their feelings, getting it out by crying can help to put them in a calmer mood once they are finished, allowing them to either sleep or relax a little before going about their day.

Sometimes Saying No is a Good Thing

Tantrums can often come after a “no” to something they want, and that can be a positive thing in the long run. By saying “no”, you are giving your child clear boundaries, especially when it comes to acceptable versus non-acceptable behavior. This is why it is important not to avoid saying no because you know it will lead to a tantrum. Saying “no” when needed can help in the long term, even if it isn’t convenient for you in the short term.

How To Break Kids Bad Habits

How to break kids bad habits

How to Break Kids’ Bad Habits

Forming habits can occur naturally, though habits can be encouraged and adapted with the right mentality. Just as you can work to create a habit, like exercising regularly, you can do things to break habits if you want or need to. For parents, getting their children to break bad habits can be difficult, especially since many habits kids have are related to their age and getting older. Things like pacifier usage, nose picking, thumb sucking and more can be detrimental to kids’ development and may lead to problems that can actually pose health risks and other side effects. Here are some ways parents can deal with helping their kids break habits in a healthy way.

Ignoring

A simple way to help a child lose focus of a bad habit is ignoring it. This is often good as a first tactic, and other methods can be considered if this does not work. You don’t want to ignore something if it remains to be a problem. In some cases, bad habits draw attention and this attention drives kids to do the thing you’re asking them not to even more. In some cases, paying a lot of attention to a bad habit and punishing them for it can have a negative outcome. When considering whether your child should break a habit or is old enough to, especially when it comes to things like thumb sucking, try to avoid paying attention to the habit and let your kid outgrow the habit on their own with time. If they don’t, then you can consider other options.

Praise and Reward

Giving kids positive attention for behaviors you want to encourage can go a long way, and rewarding non-behaviors can work too. If you notice that your child has not given in to their habit in a while, try congratulating them and let them know that they are doing a good job. Even if it is something they have grown out of and may not have actively tried to stop doing, it can encourage them to further avoid that bad habit in the future.

Give an Explanation

Simply telling kids “No,” is not often helpful so explaining why a habit is bad for them can do some good. Explain how thumb or pacifier can lead to problems with their teeth and extra trips to the dentist, etc. In this technological world we live in if technology is what grabs their attention, then show them videos on what problems the habit may cause can also help reinforce what you are saying. For example, see our video below on thumb sucking that can be shared with your children.

Take it One at a Time

If your child has several bad habits, try to focus on tackling each one before moving onto another. Focusing on several issues at once can be confusing for a kid, as well as stressful, especially if habits like thumb sucking are involved since habits like these are performed because of their soothing or comforting nature. Taking a lot away at once can be challenging and only make matters worse, as well as more difficult down the road.

Social Interactions

Social interactions with other kids may also help children to break habits. If they are around other children who do not have the same habits kids will point it out and let each other know for example “Why are you doing that? Or you always do that!” This makes children more motivated to distract themselves or use an alternative.

Be Patient

Breaking habits takes time, just as it does to form habits. But while you’re being patient, remember to provide your child with love and support. Let them know that breaking these habits will be good for them in the long run. Habits are sometimes performed on an unconscious level, so being understanding is key to your peace of mind as well as your child’s.

 

What You Need To Know Before Your Child Starts Reading

Reading to your baby

Reading is a big milestone for children, and it can include many mini-milestones, too. When your child is as young as a newborn, there are a few things that parents should keep in mind when it comes to their kids and reading.

It’s Never Too Early to Read

Reading with your newborn can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will it help introduce kids to books as familiar objects, but it allows for some quality time with mom and dad, too. Reading to children can help boost their vocabulary and their speaking skills, looking at picture books can be visually stimulating, and kids can start associating words with sounds and images early on as well.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Learning to read can involve accomplishments like reading a first word, sentence, or book, it can include moving onto a chapter book for the first time, and much more. As kids get older, their reading abilities and preferences will change as well. Helping kids celebrate these accomplishments one step at a time can help encourage them to keep reading and trying new things. Every little bit counts.

Every Child is Different

While kids at certain ages should be reaching certain milestones, it helps to remember that every child is different and will develop at their own pace. Not every child is good at reading or will like to read, and sometimes a lack of interest or advancement could indicate the presence of a learning disorder like dyslexia. Paying attention to little details can help parents get their children the help they need, plus working along with your child at a pace that is more comfortable for them will also work better towards encouraging them to improve on their own and not feel pressured.

Just Have Fun!

Reading should be a fun activity, not feel like homework. Reading is a great way for kids to learn about other subjects, cultures, people, and to absorb stories of all kinds. Forcing kids to read can be detrimental to their ability to read as well as a potential love for reading. Remember to have fun when it comes to reading, let them pick out the book and ask the questions they want to ask, and consider adding other activities to reading like acting out scenes or asking interesting “What if?” questions afterward.