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Mom Of Two Toddlers Shares 5 Ways To Stop A Tantrum Before It Happens
  • It’s normal for your patience to wear thin and to get frustrated whenever your child becomes sobrang kulit especially now that you’re together 24/7. It’s especially harder to manage if you’re working from home and your child throws a tantrum.

    5 discipline strategies to keep tantrums from happening

    Exhausted parents sometimes cannot help but to dole out punishments or yell at their kid, but they feel guilty almost immediately, because they know there’s a better discipline approach. Jan Heather Aguila, a member of our Smart Parenting Village, shares that she and her husband, Kim, had an especially challenging time managing their firstborn, Arya, who was diagnosed with speech delay, separation anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But through the help of a developmental pediatrician and an occupational therapist, they learned how to handle her behavior better.

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    To prevent tantrums happening, Jan shares some of the discipline strategies she’s learned from Arya’s therapist, along with her experience raising two toddlers at the same time.

    1. Learn to read her cues to prevent a tantrum.

    Meltdowns can be avoided if you know how to read your baby’s body signals or cues. “Kids have frustrations. Lalo na sa mga maliliit pa at hindi pa nakakapagsalita,” Jan says. “Understand your kid. What are the signs na nakakapag-start ng tantrums niya? Galit ba siya ‘pag gutom, naiinis ba siya agad ‘pag ‘di magawa ng maayos ang laro niya, maikli baa ng pasensiya niya when it comes to learning? This quarantine period is a good chance to know your child better.”


    2. Act as a team when it comes to disciplining the kids.

    Discuss with your partner how you can be consistent about your discipline style. “Your husband or wife is your number one kakampi,” Jan shares. “We talked about how we will discipline our child since mommies [tend to be] malambot ang puso basta umiyak si baby. When we first tried the “quiet place” (read more about this discipline technique here), naaawa ako sa baby ko. But we need to be firm with our decision on how to raise her. So we had an agreement na ganito ang gagawin namin.”

    Being a strict parent does not equate to a bad parent. “Calm, consistent discipline is as much an ingredient of having happy children as nurturing,” says family therapist Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D., in an article for Psychology Today.

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    3. Living with your in-laws? Make sure they understand your discipline techniques.

    Easier said than done, right? “We all know na grandparents are the number one spoilers,” Jan shares. “Ika nga nila, hindi nila kayang magalit sa apo. But I talked to my in-laws about it, na what we are doing is our way to discipline our kid. Whenever she’s in her quiet place, ‘pag sinabi kong hindi naming kakausapin, lahat hindi siya kinakausap. Ask for cooperation. That’s the major key if may iba kayong kasama sa bahay.”

    4. Get down to your child’s eye level.

    Jan encourages eye contact when disciplining, as experts have said that being on the same eye level with your child helps her feel safer. “You can easily build rapport and ma-se-sense ng baby mo na your attention is 100% focused on her,” she adds. “’Pag nagtatantrums ang baby ko sa mall, I usually kneel to have eye contact with her. Alam na niyang seryoso ako and that I am paying attention.”

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    5. Let the tantrum happen.

    No matter what you do, tantrums are inevitable. That’s why Jan and Kim designated a quiet place for their kids — “isang corner sa bahay na safe, [where she knows] na hindi siya masasaktan kahit magwala siya.” Instead of shushing your child, or making her suppress her emotions, sometimes it’s better for her to let it all out.

    Jan adds, “Normal sa mga bata ang magalit at mainis. That’s their way of communication, how they express themselves. Walang batang hindi maligalig — let them process their emotions, hayaan ninyong magalit at ma-frustrate. Kasi dun nagsisimulang mag-explore ang bata, ‘pag hindi niya makuha ‘yung gusto niya.”

    Worried about your toddler's speech delay? Click here for the red flags that Jan watched out for in her daughter that led her to consult a developmental pediatrician.

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