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Montessori Works Maroubra Beach Babies's November Newsletter

November 2021


Hello everyone, welcome to our November newsletter! As always, we provide an overview of what is happening within our childcare community. This month we will focus on tantrums, how to prevent it, manage it effectively, and when to seek help about your toddler’s tantrums.

Topic of the month - Tantrums in toddlers

What are tantrums?

Tantrums are emotional episodes of a child trying to express their negative emotions through explosive behaviour. It can be in the form of wailing, screaming, flailing, kicking, or stomping. Some toddlers would even hold their breath, refuse to speak, or even break things.

As toddlers do not have enough vocabulary or emotional regulation, toddlers tend to give way to what they are feeling fully. A toddler is more likely to throw a tantrum when he is tired, hungry, or stressed. Another factor that can influence the frequency of tantrums is your toddler’s temperament. Sensitive toddlers can overreact and be quick to throw a tantrum when faced with a situation they cannot handle. 

How to prevent tantrums

Pay attention to what triggers your toddler’s tantrums. Does it happen when you prevent them from doing something that may endanger themselves? Or maybe when he is tired or hungry perhaps? Identify the triggers and plan for the situation. If tantrums happen when they’re tired, make sure they aren’t slammed with activities. Give them enough time to take naps. Consistent meals and snacks properly spaced out will also give your toddler adequate energy.

Distract your toddler. Whenever you feel a huge tantrum is on its way, use their short attention span to your advantage by distracting them. Show them a new toy, take them to another spot or room in the house, direct their attention to the window, or tickle them. This automatically shifts their mind away from what frustrates them and into a new activity.

Give your toddler enough room to exercise their newfound independence. As toddlers begin to understand they can have their own say on what to do, shift from “yes or no” questions to option questions such as “Would you like a banana or apple?” or “Would you like to play with your lego or draw something?” These questions their decision-making while not forcing them to do things they’re not in the mood for. 

Teach your toddler how to express what they’re feeling. As toddlers have yet to know how to manage what they’re feeling, ask them what they were feeling when they threw a fit. Ask concrete questions that identify cause and behavior such as “Why did you kick your toys all of a sudden?”

Helping your toddler express their feelings, usually frustration, out loud can help them learn how to deal with frustrating situations in the future.

How to handle tantrums

Just as you cannot control your toddler’s emotions, you also can’t always prevent tantrums from happening. When it does occur, remember to keep calm and strong. Refrain from capitulating to your toddler’s demands. Instead, learn and practice these ways of handling tantrums in a healthy way.

Be calm. Assess the reason for the tantrum. The most common reasons for tantrums are either they’re hungry or tired. A quick fulfilling snack, a hug, or nap will do wonders in stopping your toddler’s tantrums. 

However, if it’s for attention, it’s best to ignore your toddler. Letting your toddler go through the worst of their tantrum is okay just as long as you don’t join in the chaos. 

It might just be tempting to cry your heart out and thrash on the floor when you and your toddler had both enough of all the stress and pressure. But the sight of a calm parent or caregiver will signal to the toddler that what he is doing, i.e. throwing a tantrum, is not going to help him in getting his way. 

Wait for the toddler to finish his tantrums, then calmly discuss with him what caused the tantrum and explain the consequences of his unwanted behaviour. 

This shows your little one how communication is the best way to let a parent or caregiver know his wants and wishes instead of resorting to throwing tantrums. But one thing a parent should never do is to concede to do or give whatever they want when they have a tantrum.

5 apps to help children deal with their tantrums

Dealing with a child’s tantrums can be a huge stressor for a parent or caregiver. Help your child deal with their negative emotions and develop emotional maturity by practicing mindfulness. These apps can help a child manage their tantrums that also help them develop emotionally.

Smiling Mind

A free mindfulness app developed by an Australian non-profit, Smiling Mind. Already used in NSW schools and preschools, the app features activities that can help a child calm down. However, parents or caregivers may need to assist the child in using the app and most activities require the parent or caregiver to be present and provide support. 

Age - 0+

Download the app: iOS | Android

Calm Counter

Specifically designed for kids on the autism spectrum, this app is great for when the child is in an actual temper tantrum and guides them to calm down. The app automatically displays a “I need a break” with a red screen featuring an angry emoji. As the child taps the screen and counts down from 10 to 1, the screen gradually changes to calmer colours and faces.

Age - 0+

Download the app: iOS

Headspace for Kids

This app was developed by a monk to teach kids about mindfulness. The app features 5 themes which kids, with their parent or caregiver’s help, can explore: calm, focus, kindness, sleep and wake up. To achieve these states, the app helps the child through meditation and breathing exercises. 

Age: 0+

Download the app: iOS | Android

Calm Child

Developed by a child psychologist, this app helps children overcome their tantrums by listening to stories that help them meditate. Spoken by a child their age, children will have an easier time relating to the story and unknowingly meditate. The app helps children understand, express, and deal with their emotions.

Age: 4+

Download the app: iOS

Avokiddo Emotions

Using animals to portray emotions, children will be able to learn and identify emotions they’re feeling. This app is especially suitable for kids who have a difficult time recognising facial expressions and body language. Through the app, kids can make the animals express emotions and kids will be able to recognise their own in the animals.

Age: 4+

Download the app: iOS | Android

When to seek help for your toddler’s behaviour

While all toddlers do go through a phase of throwing tantrums, it does occur less frequently over time as they soon develop the ability to manage their emotions. Typically, tantrums lessen around 3.5 - 4 years of age as toddlers learn to develop emotional regulation. In rare cases, however, if your toddler begins to hurt himself or others, consider asking your family doctor for help. 

Watch out for the following tantrum displays 

  • A toddler holding his own breath until he faints

  • Aggressive behaviour such as hitting, throwing, kicking, and biting

  • The smallest things easily irritates them

  • High level of disagreeability 

  • Destructive behaviour

Consult your doctor when your toddler’s tantrums become unmanageable. When toddlers cannot regulate their emotions and rely more and more often on throwing tantrums to deal with any negative or unpleasant circumstances, this is the time where professionals can help you deal with their aggressive behaviours and manage it more effectively. 

The takeaway

As your baby becomes a toddler, their emotional range also widens and with it various forms of behaviours associated. One such example is tantrums. It is a toddler’s tool in dealing with and expressing negative emotions such as frustration, irritation, tiredness, or boredom. 

While tantrums aren’t necessarily pleasant, it provides toddlers an emotional outlet and restores balance and stability after an episode.  

Childcare development

0-12 month development

The sign language that will help your baby tell you what they want at meal time

Author: Madi Haque

With babies’ limited communication skills, a Baby Sign Language expert shares how you can use signs to communicate with your baby. Whether they want more food, done with eating, or a different meal, trying this sign language wouldn’t hurt in making mealtimes more peaceful, and with a lot less fuss and mess for you and your baby.

Find out more about using sign language with your baby during mealtimes.

1-2 year development

Why creating art with your children is important 

Author: Vicky Armstrong

Art is a great learning tool to help your child. It helps them express themselves in a non-verbal way, improve their motor and social skills, and build their sense of self. 

From using simple materials to home-made edible paints for babies and shadow-making for toddlers, encourage their sense of wonder and let them develop their way of communicating in a fun way.

See the full article here and discover the ways you can create art with your children and help them develop at the same time here.

2-3 year development

Toddler snoring: Why does it happen and when should you worry?

Author: Jane Barry

Snores from your toddler may sound cute and even be funny at times especially when they have a cold or stuffy nose. However, consistent snoring from a toddler may be a sign he or she has sleep apnoea. This condition can appear due to a child’s upper airway structure.

Read on to learn more about sleep apnoea in toddlers, the signs you should get your toddler checked out, and treatment for this condition.

3-4 year development

How to Do Speech Therapy at Home

Author: Sarah Bradley 

Helping your child develop his/her vocabulary and communication skills at home isn’t an easy task. Find out about how to assess where your child’s speech progress and some simple speech therapies you can do at home with your child.

Read on to see whether your child is a great candidate for speech therapy at home.

4-5 year development

This is the one thing you should focus on if you're worried about COVID learning loss

Author: Claire Gagne

The pandemic has certainly done a number on disrupting early learning for young children. But there is a way to keep up and negate COVID learning loss--that is focusing on reading. It doesn’t matter whether it’s their favorite fairy tale, comic book, cereal box or food packaging. Teaching young kids to read can be easier with practical tips shared by a reading expert.

Read on to find out her best practical tips in helping your child read better.

For Parents

10 things your preschool teacher/daycare worker hates that you do, according to a childcare worker

Author: Casey Morris

Do you want to know how to have a better relationship with your child’s care provider? Avoid these top 10 pet peeves that just simply make it harder for childcare staff to care for your child. 

As childcare is a physically demanding job, learn these valued tips from the professionals themselves.

Read the top 10 pet peeves of childcare providers here.

Childcare subsidy changes to benefit 250,000 Australian families

Author: Ellen Ransley

Great news for Australian families, the Morrison government is giving the childcare subsidy scheme a $1.7 billion boost. There will be an early Christmas gift and relief for parents as the $10,655 annual CCS will be removed by December 10, 2021. It will also be applied retrospectively for the 2021-2022 financial year and will be reimbursed to parents.

Meanwhile, subsidy rates for families with 2-5 year old children will increase by March 2022.

Find out more about the CCS rate increase here.

Craft Corner

Crystal Suncatchers

Using some salt, water, and transparent plastic lids, create crystals that’ll amaze and intrigue your kids. For younger ones, this is a good opportunity to teach them about how liquids turn into solids. For older children, this is a great way to introduce them to chemistry.

See instructions for this crystal experiment here.

Monster Windsocks 

Let your child unleash their creativity in creating monsterrific windsocks that wave with the wind to passersby. While monsters usually pop out during the Halloween season, it can easily be reinvented into unusual Christmas decorations with a few tweaks such as Santa hats and snowflakes. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild with these monster windsocks.

See instructions on how to create monster windsocks here.

DIY Recycled Suspension Bridge

Make racing over streets and bridges a fun, interactive learning experience for your little one. Using a cereal box, toilet paper tubes, strings, and tapes, construct a suspension bridge and network of streets that’ll teach them how a suspension bridge works.

Learn how to build a mini-suspension bridge here.

Cute Origami Santa

A red sheet of paper or a white paper and crayons are all you need to create Father Christmas origami with the kids. Kids will need guidance and supervision to make sure they’re able to follow the folding instructions. Doing this Origami Santa with kids will help them improve their ability to follow directions and dexterity as they make precise folds to shape Santa.

Get detailed instructions on how to make origami santa here.

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