Children like to attract their parent’s attention. If they find that a particular piece of behavior persuades their parents to stop doing whatever they are doing and concentrate on them, then they will keep repeating it. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the behavior is positive or negative. There are degrees of negative attention from nagging through to shouting and finally having the screaming habdabs when the parents’ attention is totally on the child or children. For the under fives the list is endless, for example:-

Using naughty words
jumping on the furniture
throwing food on the floor
racing round the room
refusing to pick up toys
having a tantrum
not wanting to get dressed/undressed
head banging

There will also be particular forms of behavior that are individually tailored to the parent’s own special requirements!

The Tantrum is probably the most popular way of getting negative attention and seems to work on the most saintly of parents. If one of twins corners the market in tantrums the other may not bother.

What is the best way of dealing with the tantrum? First check to see if there is an easy way to deal with the bout of frustration. For example by encouraging the child to succeed in something that he lacks confidence in doing. If he fails, try distraction. Pretend there is something fascinating to be seen outside the window – a bit of playacting comes in useful – The child will soon stop in order to see what is so interesting.

If the tantrum is aimed at making the parent say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ stick to your guns and let the child have his tantrum without any outside help. If the parent starts shouting too, then this will provide the child with another reason to have a tantrum – getting his parent’s attention!

All toddlers have angry feelings sometimes and if they don’t frighten us we can help the toddler not to feel frightened by his feelings either!

TWINS AND THE FAMILY #families #parenting #mums #dads #twins #multiples