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  • A Mom Shared These Photos With Us And Asked, 'What Do You Do In Times Like This?'

    Members of our Smart Parenting Village provided practical tips.
    by SmartParenting Staff .
A Mom Shared These Photos With Us And Asked, 'What Do You Do In Times Like This?'
PHOTO BY courtesy of Lovelinne Veronica Esber
  • When a baby is born, the first thing a parent wants to hear is his cry. As he enters the “terrible two” or toddler stage, the crying often spells tantrums that can now also come with screaming, laying on the floor, and aggressive behavior.

    Trying to calm a child during a meltdown requires infinite patience, which can come in short supply when you are tired (or out of your mind because you’re raising a child amid a pandemic).

    This was the problem of Mommy Lovelinne, a member of our Facebook group, the Smart Parenting Village. Using the hashtag #TerribleTwo, she asked fellow parents in the group for advice on dealing with a toddler throwing a tantrum. Her post came with photos that showed her daughter, who has thrown herself on the grass crying (and most likely screaming).

    Mom Levelinne wrote, “I’m a first-time mom. And at times talaga I lose it especially ‘pag pagod sa trabaho and stressed. In times like this, what do you do?”

    Here at SmartParenting.com.ph, we’ve done many articles about expert tips for temper tantrums and discipline strategies. However, the moms who replied to Levelinne offered practical advice that came with experience. Their tips may be helpful to you too. Here’s what they have to say:

    Let your child express his feelings

    "Imagine yourself in your kid's shoes. You try to say or express your emotions, but you cannot articulate your thoughts yet. It leads to crying and shouting. Okay lang mawalan ng pasensya. Basta wag lang sabayan ang emosyon ng bata para di tayo mag-mukhang bata na nag-tatantrums din." - Hanna P

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    "Huwag nating sabihing nag-iinarte. Kung ikaw na matanda madalas hindi rin makapagpigil, ang bata pa kaya na learning to discover the world palang. For sure, ayaw mo ring masabihan nag-iinarte ka lang.

    "Just wait [for] the meltdown to stop. ‘Pag okay na siya, I ask if she needs hug. Pag umoo, I will massage the back. Pag super okay na siya, saka ako magtatanong [why she is crying]. Pero pinapakiramdaman ko muna if okay na siya to be asked, otherwise kahit after few hours.

    "Find the root cause kasi may pinagmumulan yan — madalas ay kulang sa attention, overstimulation sa paligid, gadget, naninibago o may nabago sa paligid, change in routine. Tapos hindi rin nila ma-figure out kasi hindi nila ma-express pa.’ - Mhy SS

    "‘Pag nag-tatantrums, hinahayaan ko sila kasi the more na kausapin mo sila, pilitin sila, ‘di sila papatalo. After 10 to 15 minutes tatayo yan, tapos makikipag-usap na s’ya sa 'kin ng maayos. Dun na sya magsasabi ng ‘Mommy, dede’, ‘Mommy, sleepy.’ Reinforcement ng hugs and kisses." - Ren GG

    Ask your child what’s wrong

    “When my daughter is like this, I always ask:

    • What is wrong?
    • What do you need? (I-emphasize want and need — may difference ang dalawa)
    • Why are you sad or mad?
    • Do you need mommy to stay or to go? (Kasi sometimes they need space,  too)
    • Are you hungry or sleepy?
    • Can I help you with something? 

    "Or simply hug them kahit nag-pupumiglas pa and always use calming words, not shouting, which will only make things worse. Just like adults, kapag sinabayan mo sila, mas wild sila." - Ruth RS

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    "I let her be muna. I ask her if she’s ready to talk na. If not, sige lang. Once she’s calm and ready, then we talk. How does she feel? Why did she feel that way? Why did I do this and that... etc. Hinahayaan ko lang siya ma-express sarili niya.

    "I want her to know na okay lang maging honest about our feelings and emotions as long as walang naaabalang tao. If meron, then the approach to the situation will be different. So if maraming naaabala, I will carry her to some place na pwede kami mag-usap at pwede siyang umiyak. Then, same talk lang." - Anna Kathrina C

    Establish discipline and your authority as a parent

    "Minsan ‘pag sobra na, ‘pag naka-ilang saway na, napapalo talaga s’ya pero hindi naman malakas talaga. Pero after ‘pag kalmado na, ine-explain ko din bakit napalo. Dati ayaw ko din po mamalo kaso na-realize ko kung walang takot sa 'yo at di ma-didiscipline habang bata, ikaw din mahihirapan lalo pag lumaki na (actually yun din sabi ng pedia nya sakin)." - Aby DV

    "At age 2, I discipline my kids to face the wall and explain and talk to them like adults. And they will say ‘Mommy, sorry.’” - Ave CP 

    "The more na pansinin mo ang tantrums nila, hindi sila titigil. This time let them know na parents ang dapat nasusunod at hindi sila. Pero never spank or scold your children in public places." - Malou M

    Let your child you will always be there for him

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    "Sometimes, you don't have to do anything. As long as the environment is safe, antayin mo lang pong kumalma. After that, saka mo kausapin ng mahinahon. Nakakaintindi po sila, it's just that they can't convey their emotions yet into words kaya challenging. Huwag na huwag mo po sasabayan, hehehe!" - Verma CS

    "My husband and I just let them be, but we stay by their side. We tell them, ‘I know you’re upset (or kung ano man sa tingin mo feelings nila at the moment), but since you want to cry it out, I’ll just wait whenever you’re ready to talk.’ Seriously, yan sinasabi namin." - Charmaine CL

    "On my best days, I would sit with my little one, tell him ‘I’m still here’ and if he wants to tell mommy what’s wrong he can tell me. On my worst days, I try to sit down and breathe in and out and try to keep telling myself that he cannot regulate his emotions yet, but I can. So hinga lang, always try to be there for him.” - Carlynn L

    "I think sometimes they get overwhelmed with their emotions that they don’t know how to stop even if they want to. Just let them do their crying first. If you feel that the storm has passed, ask them to breathe it in and out or sabayan mo so they’ll copy you.” - Raziel CN

    "Big emotions nila now. Need nila guidance natin [on] how to handle it and understand it. What I learned from gentle parenting is that we as parents should learn how to self-regulate para our child can also learn from us.” - Michelle

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    "Hinahayaan ko sya para malabas n’ya rin yung nararamdaman nya. If ever na tumagal pa at talagang ayaw madaan sa ganun, try to talk to them nicely. Effective. ‘Di kasi tayo pwedeng laging idadaan sa physical, tayo ang nagtuturo sa bata. Kaya kung ano yung ginagawa natin sa kanila, ganun din ang gagawin nila satin." - Yanni A

    *Condensed and edited for clarity

    Compiled by Czainnah Gajito

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