Updated: May 24
Angry toddler episode? Every parent knows them and every toddler has experienced them, but here is how music can help both you and your toddler, to navigate their next angry toddler tantrum – calmly.
Hmm what happened here...? Here is how music helped a 3yr old process and move through a very angry episode – based on a personal and informative experience from one of our lovely parents.
After happily building a zoo, he went away and a situation occurred with me that left him furious. Angry at me (mum) he picked up the Rhino and started destroying his creation.
Instead of stopping him, I started a little improvised song about the angry rhino using a stern voice and slow tempo. A little Blues melody seemed appropriate with its minor theme – with the words: “The angry rhino is very very cross He bashes and crashes the zoo The angry rhino is stomping round the zoo He’s smashing it all right down”
He responded by stopping, pausing for less than a second, then continuing with his “crashing” but in a more deliberate way.
It became clear that having these overwhelming feelings of anger validated over and over was allowing him to process them and calm. Time to process, time to feel heard (he needed several verses) and time to feel his emotions had been understood through the song matching them
Then he sang in perfect time:
“This rhino hates hates hates This rhino is crashing crashing crashing Angry angry angry He crashes and he’s so angry Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp”
And then the rhino stopped. And I waited. And he looked 10x calmer and said matter of factly “I was angry” and I agreed.
And then he jumped up and skipped off to find something else to do.