Monday, April 20, 2015

The Tantrum Mat: A Public Service Announcement

Do you see this bad boy?

This was a game-changer for me this winter.

During the winter months we had quite the upswing in Joshua's tantrums.   His teacher showed me the mat they put him on at school when he is throwing a fit.  It's a safe place, but also he quickly learned that once he was placed on it he would have to stay there until he calmed down.  WELL.  I went straight home and ordered the exact same one; color and all.

The first time Joshua saw the mat in our house he did a double take.  Oh, it was delightful to watch his face.  I could read his thoughts so clearly,"Who told them about the tantrum mat?!" and "Dang it! They've outsmarted me again!"

I stored it within easy reach of where most tantrums occur (near the kitchen and in the living room).

That's "Cars" playing on the TV.  G is going through his second phase of obsession with the movie. 
 And I'll tell you, having that plan of action was so helpful once he started ramping up.  Sometimes we make it to the mat before a head bang; sometimes not.  We just do the best we can. Once he gets to the mat he will generally cry for a few more minutes. Sometimes I have to sit by the mat to keep him there; other times I can go about my business. Either way, we've been taught not to engage him.  Just let him finish and move along.  It has worked pretty well and I love the consistency for me him and me.

Also, he somehow doesn't see the mat as a bad place.  Sometimes he pulls it out to play on.  That's fine with me as long as we're clear on its main purpose.

All this to say, I know there are many of you out there in the throes of the terrible twos, threes or even (and let's be honest) fours. Maybe you could use a tantrum mat.  I'm sure Baby A will spend some quality time there in the near future.  She is developing strong opinions on a wide range of topics.

We ordered ours on Amazon.

Hope you all had a great weekend- ours was fabulous.  The trees are finally blooming here in Virginia, it was warm, and we spent a lot of time outside.  Many a bubble were blown.  (Joshua and A's current fave).

Happy Monday- I'll be back Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. Within forty-eight hours of reading this post, I was asked by some friends strategies for managing their toddlers' trantrums. I'm totally passing along the tantrum mat idea.