December 19, 2008

Meltdown central

The first meltdown this morning started like this.
"K, let's go and take your bath."
Then he threw himself on the couch, started crying, kicking legs and flailing arms in protest.

I whipped out the camera, took this video of K. K stopped when he saw the camera. Watch his face in this clip.

Taming temper tantrums from Rachel T on Vimeo.

Looks like someone is pretty good at shedding crocodile tears, yet his natural response to pose for the camera gave him away.

The 2nd meltdown happened an hour later when K insisted on washing his hands.
"Wait, let mommy do this first."
"Wash hands, wash..."
He sat on the floor and then started to cry like it was the end of the world.

Unfortunately, this time round, I gave in to the tantrum. And K was quite happy relishing in the success of being able to get his way.

After 2 mins at the sink, I decided it was quite enough. I carried him down and told him no more of washing hands. Then the 3rd meltdown happened.

This time I ignored the tantrum and made sure I practiced the old reinforcement theory. Left him alone but told him that I will be waiting outside the hall where he is finished. K continued the next minutes crying for the helper. The helper came over to help him, I raised my voice and told her to leave him there. I told K that no one is going to help him to as he had to stop crying.

Eventually he stopped, then I went over to him and gave him a hug and explained that crying is not acceptable and it does not help him to get what he wants.

3 temper tantrums in 2 hours. I guess this may be a prelude to the terrible twos. I am beginning see the 'Hyde' in K making its brief, yet repetitive appearance these couple of weeks. So, to tame K's temper tantrums, I will need to maintain my composure and be consistent with my response to tantrums.

No one should get in the way when I am dealing with K's tantrums , not doting grandparents, father or helper. This toddler will have to learn that he is not going to get anywhere with his tantrums.


the little prince said...

Hi, First time drop by cos happen to see Kyle name in Kristie Blog list.

Well, I can foresee my Kyle to have the same meltdown soon cos he started to show that gradually and I still have not figure out how to response to it...'sigh'...

mummymeow said...

my dad used to beat me up with cane if i got all cranky. That's old school - rule by fear.
it's that age. i guess every parent goes thru with it. He will eventually grow out of it.

Merry X'Mas to you and your family Rach.

Rachel said...

Hi 'the little prince' - thanks for dropping by.

I think a consistent response works so far - continue to pay attention to the positive behaviour and not the negative ones.

4malmal said...

Hi, that does remind me of Mal's terrible 2s. I guess how the care giver reacts to such meltdown is a signal to the toddler whether such behavior will work or not. I do believe in not giving in :)