If you’ are the parent of a toddler, chances are you’ve had to deal with toddler tantrums. Temper tantrums are a normal part of childhood development and usually happen when toddlers feel frustrated, angry, or tired.
While they can be challenging to deal with in the moment, there are some things you can do to help your child manage their emotions and get through a tantrum.
Here are some tips that will help you keep your cool and deal with toddler tantrums.
What Causes Tantrums?
Before we dive into the strategies for taming tantrums in toddlers, it’s important to understand what causes them in the first place. Tantrums are typically a result of frustration, exhaustion, or hunger.
They can also be triggered by something as simple as a child not getting their way or having to transition from one activity to another.
It’s important to remember that tantrums are a normal part of childhood development and are not indicative of bad parenting.
Every child will experience them at some point, so it’s important to be prepared with effective coping mechanisms.
Use Distraction Techniques
One of the simplest and most effective ways to deal with a tantrum is to try and distract your child from whatever is causing the meltdown.
Offer an alternative toy or activity that will interest the little one and help diffuse any anger they might be feeling from not getting what she wants right away!
Giving your child some control over the situation can often help diffuses a tantrum before it even starts. When possible, offer your child a choice between two different activities or items.
For example, you could ask them if they want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt today. Or, if you’re going to the store, ask them if they want to ride in the cart or walk beside you.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
When your child is behaving well, be sure to give them praise and encouragement. This positive reinforcement will help them understand that their good behavior is something that you value and appreciate.
In turn, they’ll be more likely to try and exhibit this behavior in the future, even when they’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.
Ignore Minor Misbehavior
Some types of misbehavior, such as whining or crying, are attention-seeking behaviors. If you immediately give in to these demands every time they occur, your child will quickly learn that this is an effective way to get what they want from you.
Instead, try to ignore the behavior as best you can. Once it stops, you can praise your child for exhibiting good behavior.
Set Firm Limits
It’s important to be consistent with your rules and expectations for your child’s behavior. If you allow them to get away with throwing a tantrum one day, they’ll likely try it again in the future.
But if you set firm limits and stick to them, they’ll eventually learn that tantrums are not an effective way to get what they want.
Don’t Give In To Demands
If your child is throwing a tantrum because they want something from you, it’s important not to give in to their demands. This will only reinforce the tantrum behavior and make it more likely that they’ll do it again in the future.
Instead, wait until they’ve calmed down before you discuss their request or concern.
Take A Break
If you find yourself getting frustrated or angry in response to your child’s tantrum, it’s important to take a step back and take a break.
Both you and your child need some time to calm down and regroup. Once everyone has had a chance to calm down, you can try addressing the situation again.
Punishing your child for having a tantrum will only make the situation worse. It will likely increase their frustration and make them even more resistant to whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do.
Instead of punishment, try using some of the other techniques on this list to diffuse the tantrum and help your child calm down.
Model Good Behavior
It’s important to remember that children learn by example. If you want your child to exhibit good behavior, it’s important that you model that behavior yourself.
This means remaining calm and level-headed, even when things are frustrating or overwhelming. When you model good behavior for your child, they’re more likely to follow suit.
Stay Calm And Consistent
It can be difficult to remain calm in the midst of a tantrum, but it’s important to try your best. Losing your temper will only make the situation worse and make it more difficult to get your child to calm down.
Instead, try to stay calm and consistent in your response. This will help create a sense of stability for your child and make it easier for them to cope with their emotions.
Avoid Giving Too Much Attention
In some cases, attention is exactly what a tantruming child is seeking. If you find yourself getting drawn into a power struggle with your child, it’s important to step back and assess the situation.
Sometimes, the best course of action is to simply walk away and avoid giving your child the attention they’re seeking.
Try A Distraction Technique
In some cases, you may be able to diffuse a tantrum simply by distracting your child from whatever it is that’s causing their frustration.
If you can find a way to redirect their attention, they may forget all about the thing that was causing them to tantrum in the first place.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple change of scenery or a new activity to get your child back on track.
While toddler tantrums can be frustrating and challenging, it’s important to remember that they’re a normal part of childhood development.
With time and patience, most children outgrow their tantruming phase and learn how to cope with their emotions in a more constructive way.
In the meantime, keep these twelve strategies in mind as you ponder how to deal with toddler tantrums in a more effective way.