A Guide on How to Help Toddler deal with Frustration.
For children and toddlers, dealing with frustration can be quite difficult. Frustration is one of the most awkward emotions a human can feel. It is a mix of disappointment, anger, and sadness that can become a nasty business if we do not learn how to cope with it.
For babies, toddlers, and children, this is no different. For them, frustration will be a new emotion. They not only do not have the necessary tools to deal with it, but it can put some extra stress on their short, vibrant lives.
Some children tend to get discouraged when feeling frustrated. When they are forced to keep things going, they can react with maladaptive behaviors like rebellion and negativism. Home, the school, the play station should be places of peace and stimulation; and learning should be a positive process, not a generator of great pressures.
If you realize your toddler is not dealing well whit their issues in the problem solving field, you must try to detect the causes and try to soften them if possible. Then help the child to react in new ways to his or her lack of success.
So, how to help toddler deal with frustration? Here are some basic recommendations.
Define the root of the emotion.
This is the first step we should take before considering dealing with the situation in any way. We cannot respond accordingly to the emotion if we do not know what may be causing it.
Since toddlers and young children can barely talk, identifying the source of the problem can be quite difficult. Nevertheless, here are some basic questions you ask your child —and yourself— while trying to figure out what is going on.
- Is the child too tired? Make sure your toddler is well-rested. All children find life obstacles and relationships more difficult when they are tired.
- Is the child’s schedule too full? Examine the tasks they perform on a daily basis to determine if it allows them to recover from one task before the next one kicks in. As parents, we tend to fill our toddler’s afternoons with tons of activities, but this can be counterproductive if we go too far. If your toddler shows too much resistance to a task, maybe it is time to stop.
- Are we demanding too much of them? We must take into account his capabilities.
- Are you, as a parent, creating enough opportunities for positive reinforcement? Alternate difficult tasks with easy ones and celebrate every success with euphoria. If the toddler feels good and cared for, they will likely handle better when things go sideways.
Deal with the emotion in a healthy way.
Now that we did our research and we know what is causing the problem, it is time to take some action to help and do better in the future.
Parents cannot suppress all sources of frustration and pressure in the child’s world, which means that the child must learn positive ways to cope with these feelings. You apply some of these basic guidelines.
- Teach them to relax: We all cope more positively if we are calm and in peace of mind. We must teach children to raise their frustration tolerance by relaxing their bodies. Deep breaths and some stretching are always a good starting point.
- Teach them to identify the emotion: We must teach young children to identify the feeling of frustration when it appears: are you furious because you can’t do these tasks or why?
- Modify the task: try to teach the child an alternative way to achieve the goal. When possible, break a task into small parts that can be completed one at a time.
- Positive reinforcement when dealing well: compliment them for avoiding their usual angry response to frustration and every time they use an appropriate strategy. Establish a reward system to reinforce this maturity skill.
- Teach your toddler to ask for help: every time we get frustrated, we cloud our minds and refuse to ask for help. For toddlers and children, this is no different. Teach them to ask for help doing proper eye contact without anger in the middle.
At Spimbey, we want every child to be able to overcome difficult situations.
Our playsets are places for fun and entertainment. Tools that you can use to help your children live a happier life. You can check them at our shop!
And you, as a parent, how do you deal with frustration with your little ones? Care for sharing any feedback or ideas? Leave a comment!