One of the biggest reasons that children get frustrated is because of their inability to communicate and problem solve. Communication and problem solving are skills that take children a long time to develop. Therefore, one of the biggest ways that we can avoid tantrums is to simply ask children "Why?" when faced with a problem.
Yesterday I was taking the girls for a run with them in the double stroller. They both wanted to take a stuffed animal along for the ride. As I was running Sienna started yelling about a dog that was in a car (or at least I thought) and started screaming at the top of her lungs and stomping her feet against the bottom of the stroller. Of course I immediately thought to myself "Seriously? Why are you crying about a dog that drove by?!" Then, a man yelled behind me and as I turned around I saw him holding Sienna's stuffed dog in the air asking if it belonged to us. OHHH! THAT'S what she was yelling about!! So, we got the dog back and everything was right in the world! But it made me wonder, what if I had taken an extra minute to ask her what she was trying to tell me? Perhaps there would have been no yelling, screaming, and foot stomping.
But it makes me wonder how many times does this happens in my toddler's world? How often do her meltdowns occur because she is not able to communicate her needs effectively?
If we ask people in our lives "why?" when faced with a problem, than we can create better relationships and even increase our overall happiness. How? Most of our frustrations occur from misunderstanding another person's intentions. For example, a waitress is not providing good service at a restaurant and you immediately become frustrated and assume they are a nasty person. If we ask them why the food is taking so long we may find out that their coworker never showed up or that it's their first day on the job.
When people do something that we don't like it's rarely about us. Finding out more information when faced with a problem can help us to be more understanding and feel less stress about why the problem is happening.
When your child becomes frustrated and begins to whine or cry...get down on their level and ask them why they are frustrated and even take it a step further and help them communicate exactly what happened and why they are frustrated.