Toddler tantrums and peaceful parenting

E is at the moment going through ‘a phase’. It started off as a nasty cold but as she recovered from that she became demon toddler. Screaming, pushing, shouting, refusing to communicate. Argh.

She’s always been a fairly laid back child. She occasionally gets a bit possessive or pushy with her big sister, but always apologises when prompted and is fairly easy to redirect. At the moment, however, she’s really taking things to a new level. I guess Christmas hasn’t helped; all the excitement, traveling, bad diet and materialistic stimulation has just pushed her over the edge!

The day after boxing day was bad. She pushed me and I asked her to say sorry. She just shouted “I don’t want to say sorry! I don’t want to ask nicely!” And pushed again. Then screamed to be picked up. I ended up carrying her round the house, trying to find a spot that was quiet so she could chill but everywhere was busy with family, toys, tv, cooking, lights and sound. All the while she was just screaming and I didn’t know what she wanted or what to do. I was crying, E was screaming, and then M came over to me and gave me a hug and I totally lost it. I sobbed and sobbed into her jumper. Poor thing, a 5 year old shouldn’t have to see her mum like that. But she was so good, quiet and kind and the contrast between the two children was so evident it really got to me.

While E had her cold I was nursing her more than usual. She wasn’t eating or drinking much so it was giving her some fluids as well as providing some comfort. Usually we just nurse once a day, in the morning; it’s been that way for some months now. But after getting better E seemed to assume she could have milk whenever she wanted. She demanded it, putting her hand down my top. I didn’t like it, so refused her and the milk became both and obsession and the cause of the tantrums for a while.

When it gets bad I just want to run away. I want to down out the shouting and hide somewhere. I can’t do the peaceful parenting thing when a violent tiny person is continuously hitting me. But then today I took her to the stairs and sat with her while she calmed down. Later on during a meltdown she asked to go sit on the stairs. She is trying so hard to do and say the right things but these silly overwhelming emotions keep getting the better of her. I know, then, that we’re doing the right thing. Sticking to our guns, but talking it through as much as is possible with a 2.5 year old. I ended up cuddling her to sleep tonight, she was all worked up but didn’t want to let me go. I cuddled her for as long as she needed through the screaming.

One day she’ll wake up and be sunny and wonderful once more. No more tantrums 50% of the day. No more violence. We’ll get there.


Our attempts at a happy family Christmas photograph.


About mamathegeek

I am a mother to M, a pre-schooler, and E, a toddler. I am a working mother, alternatively science geek and hippy. I work, sing, garden, photograph and try not to keep a tidy house. This blog is all about my experiences as a parent; there will be a lot about my boobs, poop, slings and other hippyish parenting shenanighans!
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