Here’s a confession: This morning I was pinched, scratched and pelted across the face with a teddy bear. This was low-level domestic abuse at the hands of my 19-month-old baby girl. I was trying to brush her teeth, but I may as well have been carrying out some form of water torture. Within seconds the same little blonde girl who blows kisses and cuddles dolly, transformed into a terrible-toddler and our peaceful morning turned toxic. Now, it hurts me both physically and emotionally when she lashes out, not to mention the acute embarrassment when my friends, family or the entire Sainsburys’ queue witness her turn. But the worst emotion is confusion, because everyone has an opinion on what I should do. Do I…a) pinch her back b) Introduce the naughty step or c) Ignore it and hope it goes away? Well I don’t want to pinch my daughter, we don’t have stairs and I have a feeling this terrible toddler issue isn’t going to go away as quickly as it arrived.
I’ve found some great advice on the Netmums website with lots of ideas involving role play and the need to explain to your toddler why it is wrong to lash out. This feature on Babyexpert.com even gives a positive spin on how a tantrum is actually a sign your baby is growing! Plus lots of tips for coping with public outbursts. I’m learning that where an adult might need to be told once or twice, a toddler needs to be told several thousand times and staying calm is key. In fact research by Myvouchercodes.co.uk, says toddlers spend an average of two weeks a year in a tantrum…so it looks like I’ve got plenty more fun to come!