The Temper Trap
Mama Greenest investigates toddler tantrums
PLUS: Green Living Tip of the Week
By Shannon Gallagher
Ever wonder why your toddler has so many tantrums? I certainly do. Like the snowstorms that relentlessly pummeled us this winter, my daughter’s meltdowns seem to come in endless cascades. And while I’ve come to expect them a dozen or more times a day, there’s little I can do to not feel wrung out and exasperated by day’s end.
According to this article from CNN, frequent meltdowns are the result of an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain the regulates emotion and controls social behavior) and “magical,” not logical, thinking. Because the world can be a scary, unpredictable place, our little ones produce a lot of the stress hormone cortisol which makes them sensitive and reactive. But lucky for us, the prefrontal cortex begins to mature around the age of four, likely the reason why so many parents claim their child transformed on their fourth birthday. Phew, only 19 months to go...!
Green Living Tip of the Week:
We all know that plastic bags are a big environmental no-no, right? That’s why so many mainstream stores, like Target to Stop & Shop, sell reusable bags, and most offer a small payback ($.05 per bag) for bringing your own. Even if you reuse those plastic bags at home — in the nursery, bathroom, or for collecting recyclables — they still end up in a landfill where they’ll sit... and sit... and sit... Same for Ziplocs. But now there’s another option: You can recycle your clean plastic shopping bags and Ziplocs at many grocery stores; just look for the designated bins by the recycling stations.