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Mum’s Tips

Mum’s Tips

Book Reviews

'An Autobiography of a One Year Old' by Rohan Candappa.

Ever wondered what your One Year Old thinks about life? Then get this book to enlighten you and you will be amazed at what they understand! It is a very funny and witty book and comes highly recommended. I would give this book 9/10.

Behavioural Tips

How to cope with Toddler Tantrums

You are cruising around Tesco with a toddlers in the trolley. The child seems quite happy but your nerves are on edge; you are bracing yourself for the inevitable - the supermarket tantrum.

As you ease around the end of an aisle it happens. Your toddler spots sweets/videos.Tweenie yoghurt and demands one NOW! You gently refuse, but its too late. She explodes, screaming, writhing ,arms flail, legs kick out, and as you try to restrain her you feel every shopper's eyes staring disapprovingly in your direction.

It is hideous, shattering and acutely embarrassing, but toddler tantrums are a fact of life. Supermarkets are a favourite venue, temptation lies across every path. To try to help improve child behaviour, the BBC has launched a do-goody cartoon character, Angelmouse, backed by child psychologists with new explanations and advice on dealing with this, probably the most infuriating of all childhood phases.

One thing is clear: no matter how angelic your child seems at times or how harmonious your relationship is, you are unlikely to escape the tantrum phase altogether. Dr. Dorothy Einon, a child psychologist who has been working on Angelmouse, says tantrums affect 80% of children aged between 20 months and 4 years. And these displays of fury are reserved in the main, for the mother, because she is who they love the most.

Einon says the cause of most tantrums is a perceived "lack of attachment" between mother and child. "baby animals are most comfortable when linked closely with their mother and become agitated when separated," she says. "Children are no different; if you child feels the bond is being broken by you chatting on the phone or washing up, he may become agitated and do anything to regain your attention."

The reason tantrums specifically affect two to four year olds is because of a hiatus in a child's psychological development, says Einon. "At around 18 months children begin to understand themselves as individuals. This is when they first recognise themselves in the mirror and start to talk about 'Me!' and 'My'!.

"They understand 'myself' but not 'yourself'. The reason tantrums usually clear at four years old is because by then most children grasp the fact that other people have minds and emotions separate from their own. Imagine how frustrating it must be for children when they want something really badly, but you're not going to give it to them. They know what they want but cant understand that you don't want the same thing".

When you face the prospect of a tantrum at any time it helps to understand what is going on in your toddlers mind, especially as your reaction to a tantrum can greatly influence how long it lasts and whether it is repeated. If you get angry, you are playing into your toddlers hands. "Children of tantrum age want their mother's attention, " Says Einon "And if they cant get your smiles, they will take your anger in preference to being ignored".

Keeping calm in the middle of the storm.

REMEMBER: Tantrums are normal toddler behaviour; your child doesn't hate you and you are not a bad parent. Here are some tips on avoiding and dealing with them.

Don't go shopping when your toddler is tired, hungry or obviously looking for trouble,or when you are tired, hungry or feel that you cant cope with a tantrum.

Bring drinks, nibbles, comics or books to keep your child entertained on shopping trips.Take your child for a slow, interactive trip to the shops, chatting and explaining as you go around so shopping doesn't become a negative experience.Emphasise the positive in the things you say; if your child asks to go to the swings don't say "no, not now", try, "what a great idea, I'll just finish doing this then we can get our coats on".Diversion tactics can help to avoid a tantrum if you can think of something interesting enough, quickly enough.Offer children a choice whenever you can so they feel they have some control over what is happening to them.If a tantrum is approaching, take the child to a calm, quiet atmosphere, sit quietly with them until the mood passes.If faced with a full-on tantrum, assume your impassive face and body language, refuse eye contact, and quietly pick the child up and remove him from the situation. if this is impossible, remove yourself until things have calmed down.If that, too, is impossible (say you are in a public place, or have other children to worry about) grab the child having a tantrum in a strong bear hug (again, without saying anything or making eye contact) until anger subsides.The minute the tantrum is over, lavish the child with attention (say something like "You must be so upset/ this must be so hard for you/you really are doing well".)Let the child know you love him and understand how he felt, but that you don't like such behaviour. Don't show too much relief that the tantrum is over or he may sense that his outburst gives him power over you.

Health Tips



First Stage: (lasts up to eight days): irritability, runny nose, red eyes(conjunctivitis), cough, loss of appetite, increasing fever.

Second Stage: (from around day four, lasts for four to seven days): rash, of flat red or brown blotches that flow into each other. Race progresses from face to neck then body, making its way to feet.

Fever Peaks: (up to 40.6c - 105F). Sometimes diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Measles links: (Health Promotion England) (Justice, Awareness and Basic Support Group.)


Taken from National Meningitis Trust Leaflet

Symptoms in Babies

High Temperature, fever, possibly with cold hands and feet

Vomiting, or refusing feeds

High Pitched moaning, whimpering cry

Blank, staring expression

Pale, blotchy complexion

Baby may be floppy,may dislike being handled, be fretful

Difficult to wake up or lethargic

The fontanelle (soft spot on babies heads) may be tense or bulging.

In Children and Adults

Meningitis Websites: (National Meningitis Trust)