I managed to catch up with an old friend who is a Montessori trainer who is now back in Ireland. I was chatting with her and having exchanges about DS going thru the terrible twos and now in terrifying three stage. We of course touch on the topic of throwing tantrums leading to hysterical fits and she shared something interesting with me, here I liked to share.
Sometimes when a child doesn’t calm down when in tantrums despite you trying all ways and means. It’s not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t. This group of children is known as an intense or spirited child. When less spirited child cry or get upset, their bodies produce the hormone serotonin (Nature’s Prozac), which helps calm them down. This doesn’t happens with intense/spirited children.
Studies of kids prone to tantrums leading to fits of crying and even hysteria show that the best way is to gently calm and soothe them with hugs and kisses at the first sign of distress, before they becomes inconsolable.
So, when your child is about to go into a tantrum, don’t even let him get started. Once he does, stress hormones will flood his blood stream, body system and there won’t be sufficient serotonin to balance out the stress level, helping him cope. You can help by calming him with a gentle hug and quicky distract him with something.
To build up your child’s serotonin level, vigorous play like skipping, jumping, running, hopping helps. When he is going into a tantrum, he will have a reserve of serotonin in his system to help him cope.
My friend’s advice on young children, especially those in the early years of age 1 to 4, is not to compare your child with others. Allow children to develope at their own pace, without undue pressure. Childhood should be a time of happiness, not training. A time to be fussed over, not a time for carrying out chores. Whatever may be, one thing is for sure, your child needs your encouragement, praise, patience, love, etc.
Easier said than done right? Especially when DS tried to wash his stuffed "pet dinosaur" because he brought it to after dinner fruit time and smear papaya on it. So, its my own doing, cos I thought that I can leave it to him to finish his fruit while I do his laundry. Next thing I heard him calling mommy cos pet dinosaur and bed is wet. He did his own laundry in his bed with his hand soap bottle and his pail filled with water !!