I’ve found that children of this age have a very difficult time not getting their way. Whether it be the clothing that they want to wear, the food that they want to eat, or even the books they want you to read to them – meltdowns can happen with almost no warning! Sometimes it’s very difficult not to become frustrated when your child is screaming about something so ridiculous that you yourself don’t know if you feel like laughing or crying. I’ve found that having structure with our routines, sometimes helps Olivia to know what to expect, and eliminate some (certainly not all) of these meltdowns.
Back in December, I wrote about introducing a Shape Matching game to Olivia. At that time, I was focused on helping her to learn to identify and match shapes, so I was purposely letting her win to give her more practice with the shapes. At this point she knows her shapes, so today I decided to make some matches on my own to see how Olivia would handle it. It was really interesting to see how she reacted to me making matches. She was fine when I made the first match, but she did not like when I made the second. (She already had a match herself). I know that this reaction was completely age appropriate, but wanted to help her through these feelings now, so that they don’t become a huge issue later. So we talked a bit about how it was ok for us both to have matches, and played the game a few more times. After a while, Olivia’s became less angry when I would make matches. We will definitely start playing even more games, because I feel that as she gets used to not winning every game, it will be easier for her to accept that, and as a result, learn to be good sport.