Su Laurent gives some useful tips for parents, such as how to deal with tantrums.
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Female Speaker: Welcome back to Baby Talk on the Baby Channel and in this edition, we are trolling through the mail bag with Baby Channel Medical Advisor and Consultant Pediatrician Su Laurent. Okay, we have got text message. Celeste: I have a two-and-a-half year old son. His tantrums are getting out of his hand. Every time he can't have something, he starts screaming and shouting. What can I do? Female Speaker: Dr. Su, we all relate to this one, don't we? Tantrum! Dr. Su Laurent: We certainly do, and I don't think there is a single child who doesn't have some tantrums and it's completely normal to have tantrums at two. So at this point, a child is exerting their independence and they are actually just pushing back those boundaries, and they're seeing how far they can really push their mum, usually their mum, but it can be their dad of course. It usually happens, it's the most difficult time doesn't it? The middle of the supermarket? Female Speaker: It's a classic in the middle of the supermarket. Dr. Su Laurent: Just when you've got. You've got very little time, you've got to take one from school, the toddler is in the supermarket, it's awful, everybody is watching. Female Speaker: Well in fact, I was just going to say, I heard something that I felt was quiet profound, somebody said that tantrum is only a tantrum, if it's got an audience. Dr. Su Laurent: Well absolutely right. And the best way as I am sure everybody knows is to ignore, but it's often very difficult to do. Isn't it? Female Speaker: Of course it is. Dr. Su Laurent: So there is this sort of little time out philosophy. For example, if you are in a home and your child is having a tantrum, the best thing to do is to put them somewhere where they're not going to harm themselves or anything else and then just simply ignore them. That might mean that you are going to walk away from where they are, and just carrying on with something else, or it might mean that you just put them in a place, in a quiet place and you just say, you are going to stay there until you finished, and then just leave them and ignore them. Female Speaker: So it really get rise to it, they start having this battle. Dr. Su Laurent: Another approach is the call your bluff approach. This is what I use with my children every now and then. Children who are having just shouting at each other or having a tantrum or just being a total nightmare, what you say is, you know something, I don't think that you are doing that very impressively at all, do just a bit louder, and you just say to them, louder still, come on louder still, and then they look at you like, you are completely mad. Female Speaker: That actually, I think that it's a best approach, because it actually deflates the whole situation, doesn't it? Dr. Su Laurent: Exactly, exactly, because there is no point. If I am enjoying them doing that then there is absolutely no point for them to doing it anymore. The other thing that's really important to remember with children, is that when they are being really good, then there are all these little moments when they are toddlers, well they were actually being divide; they are playing by themselves, they are just getting them with whatever they are doing, they are not disturbing anybody. You have to remember then to say, you've been so good today and to reward them. You can give them a little sticker or give them a little sweet whatever you want to do to say, you know, you was so good from the last two hours, or you say, good for the last 10 minutes, because very often at that two-year-old stage, all we say to our children is no, don't do that, don't do that, don't touch that, don't do that. And then when they have tantrum you shout at them. But you have to remember -- Female Speaker: For them it's attention. Dr. Su Laurent: For them it's attention. What you need to remember is give him attention for those things that they are doing well, and make them do more of that. Just remember that they do it
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