We have entered a new phase in parenting and to be honest, we seem a little lost. Unsure of what to do or how to curb this behaviour. I really hadn’t anticipated it starting so soon and I don’t believe Ava is a spoiled child or that she has ever been exposed to this behaviour, so it’s quite surprising that she just knew how to do this!

So what am I talking about? Tantrums! Full-blown-throw-yourself-to-the-ground-tantrums. She started with the mild baby form of these at around 9 months old, when not getting her own way, she’d scream and make herself stiff and arch herself backwards, but in the last two weeks, we’ve entered a whole new era, the gunshot wound era or the GSW as its commonly known around these parts.

The smallest thing can trigger a GSW. One moment, she’s playing happily, the next, she gets shot by a gun, arms flay into the air and as if in slow motion, she falls to the ground, face first and starts screaming/crying! If the sounds that accompanied a GSW attack weren’t so annoying, it would probably be hilariously funny.

But to be honest, we’re sort of at a loss as to how to deal with it. We’ve tried a number of approaches, most of which have been completely unsuccessful! First we just laughed at her, but all that did was to incense her further and intensify the GSW. Then we tried just flat-out ignoring her, but that just resulted in very long recoveries from the GSW. Then we tried a swift swot to the padded backside and once again, all that did was intensify the GSW attack.

Ava is still a bit to young for reasoning, so it’s not like we can try to talk her out of it. She’s also still to young for the naughty chair/step. But yesterday, twice, I tried a time out, in her bedroom and it seemed to work a treat. The first time, as soon as she hit the ground from the GSW, I picked her up off the floor, marched into her bedroom, and closed the door, me inside with her. Within 10 seconds, she had recovered from the GSW.

The second time, again, as soon as she hit the ground from the GSW, I picked her up off the floor, took her to her room, closed the door and left her in there for one minute. The GSW attack continued for the full minute, but as soon as I entered the room, I got down to her level, held her firmly by the arm and told her to stop it and wouldn’t you know it? She did!

So now I’m wondering if this is perhaps the best way to manage these GSW attacks for now? Of course, I’m not sure how we’ll manage if she gets a GSW in public, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Toddler Mamma’s – how do you handle your toddlers GSW’s?