Taming The Toddler Tantrum

toddler tantrum

There's never a dull moment in parenthood.

I say this after an interesting couple of days in my household.

My darling daughter knows that she can make lots of high pitched squealing/screaming noises.

And she's worked out it sparks a reaction.

Sometimes it’s a scream/squeal of excitement, which is more often than not repeated.

But above all else we've also discovered the dreaded tantrum.

That moment where the back is arched, the head gets thrown back and is swiftly followed by fist banging on the floor.

But then again that’s just one version of it.

Sometimes it’s funny and other times it’s downright frustrating, especially if you’re having one of those days!

Yesterday was one of “those days”. You know where nothing goes right, you become more and more worked up and can’t wait until your partner is home to share the burden. Those are the days where I look forward to our little one’s bedtime.

So it begs the question: what is the right way to react?? Do you raise your voice in warning?

Do you make a loud noise on a flat surface?

Do you fall in a heap and laugh?

Or if all else fails, do you hit the floor and join in?

All jokes aside, I wish I knew the answer but along with the many riddles of parenting, our little bundles of joy keep us guessing!

Everyone deals with each individual situation in their own way and rightly so because every child is different.

That doesn’t necessarily make you feel better but it’s bound to be reassuring to know (although it may not feel like it at the time) that a similar scenario is playing out in another household near you.

So far (crossing my fingers it stays that way) our tantrums have been confined to the privacy of our home.

I don’t think I’m ready to deal with the dreaded shopping centre tantrum.

We’ve all seen it. You go about your shopping and suddenly you hear screaming or repeated words from a whiny child not getting their own way. You quickly scoot past (or avoid the situation altogether) and thank your lucky stars it’s not you.

If the mother looks frazzled, I tend to give a smile of sympathy in the hope that one day if it happens to me, someone else will give me that same “it’s okay, we’ve all been there” smile.

Even as I write, my ears are hit with yet another scream. I respond with a raised tone of voice but know the warning won’t go far. She’s discovering her voice and developing in so many different ways. At least that’s what I tell myself today.

But no matter how frustrating things get, you always know that a sweet little smile or laugh or a cuddle will just make you melt, well for the five seconds until the next scream reaches your ears anyway.

A few tips….

- If a tantrum starts, try distracting your child with another activity

- Stay strong, particularly in public. Leave your shopping behind if you have to go.

- Have a plan on how to deal with a tantrum.

- If the child is older, remind them of what happened last time there was a tantrum.

- If you have to remove yourself from the situation, try to do so calmly.

-When confronted with a tantrum, try counting to 10, you never know it may just work!

By Sheree Echlin


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