YOUR TODDLER (1 - 3 YEARS) QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Take a closer look at what is frustrating your daughter in connection with what she wants. This will help you deal with the tantrum as well as know how to prevent them in the future. Place set rules and boundaries, which your daughter understands and knows that she cannot manipulate, so that you reduce her need to throw a tantrum. Once your daughter learns to express herself in the verbal domain she will feel more understood and contained. Teaching your child emotional literacy from an early age can also help her feel more understood in connection to her emotional world. This can be done by talking to her about feelings and naming the emotions for your daughter. A toddler refusing your carefully planned and prepared meals can indeed be very trying, but it is quite normal. At this stage in their development they are learning to be more independent and experiment with how to express this. There are only so many things that they can control, and having a say in, and influence on, their food preferences are two of these. Another factor which contributes is food neophobia. Your toddler is facing countless new experiences every day. Neophobia is the fear of anything new and this can manifest as a fear of new tastes or textures. Some children may display distaste for a new vegetable but will try with a little persuasion, others may adamantly refuse.
It may also be helpful to be conscious of bad experiences that an infant or child may have experienced at the time of having a particular food. This can form a strong negative
Children of this age enjoy adult attention – close physical proximity is important, and they will perform (positively and negatively) to gain this attention. They are also prone to tantrums if things go do not go their way. Your child’s behaviour towards these caregivers is not intended to be mean or hurtful. At this age a child does not understand that others have feelings. Negative behaviours may often be a response to frustration. As your daughter’s language is still developing, this is one of the only ways for her to communicate her wants and needs.
In cases where a child’s primary caregiver is absent (even temporarily, such as being at work), it is important that the child has a consistent caregiver who can provide for her needs. It could be that the number of different caregivers is becoming confusing for your daughter. Although all parties love and care for her, she may be missing the opportunity to bond sufficiently with one person. She may therefore
separation anxiety your child may cry or throw a tantrum when you put him to sleep at night. He may also wake up in the middle of the night wanting comfort. Night terrors, however, are seen to be more terrifying for the parent and not for the toddler. Night terrors occur during the very deep part of sleep and therefore your toddler is fast asleep and does not have any recollection of what was going on. Making sure your toddler is safe and protected and trying not to wake your toddler up while he is having a night terror is all that you can do in this situation. Night terrors are different from nightmares in many ways, and nightmares normally start around three years of age.
There are other causes of night terrors other than separation anxiety and it being a normal developmental stage. For example, when a child is overtired or sleep deprived they are more likely to have night terrors as they have a greater need for deep sleep. Anything containing caffeine or sugary foods given too near to bedtime can also cause night terrors. Finally, night terrors can also run in the family. There are a few things parents can try to do to minimise terrors at night. Try to continue with a daytime nap routine. When it comes to separation anxiety at night, try to keep a consistent routine (story, hug, kiss and then leave).
Changing a toddler’s normal routine (let their toddler sleep in their bed, for example) can influence future sleeping patterns. If your toddler does call out for you in the middle of the night, soothe him and then tell him that he is safe and needs to go back to sleep. Having his favourite toy or blanket with him can also help him feel more comfortable with separation from you at night. Remember that this is a