Taming toddler tantrums
Screaming, fist banging and tears.
At times this is the best way to describe a situation if you get between me and chocolate (just kidding!).
But alas, I’m referring to the dreaded toddler tantrum.
We’ve all been there and it usually happens either when you’re in a really busy place (the shops!) or you have visitors at home.
Our Little Miss recently turned two and in the last week alone the tantrums feel like they have escalated greatly.
Like most other parents we have been left thinking what next?
What can we possibly do to try and curb this behaviour or at least tone it down just a little bit.
I honestly wish I had the answers (who doesn’t?!) but parenting involves a lot of guesswork and often making the wrong decision before finding the right one.
So with that in mind, here’s a few things to possibly consider next time you find yourself dealing with your mini ball of tears and anger.
Ignore your child
Easier said than done right??!!
If only it was as simple as turning down the volume on the TV.
But by turning your back and giving your child time to calm down on their own, allows them to settle enough for you to attempt to have a chat about what has happened.
If you’re willing to go that extra step, see if your toddler approaches you first.
(This may not work with younger children particularly if they’re experiencing any separation issues.)
Give your child some space
As much as we don’t enjoy a screaming child, much like adults, children need to vent. It’s their way of expressing anger and getting used to the world.
So if you can, just walk away and let them get it out of their system.
“Oooooh pretty shiny things”.
When you start seeing the wind up signs of a potential meltdown, start looking for a way to stop it from happening.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a reward, but a way to preoccupy their mind and see if they forget about what was going to set them off.
Although be prepared for it to possibly come back later because as we all know the little ones don't really forget easily.
It’s probably the last thing you feel like doing when you’re watching a mini meltdown play out in front of you, but hugs can be reassuring for our little ones.
Of course if they kick and scream at you, it’s probably not going to be the best option, but could be worth a try.
Offer food or consider if nap/rest time is needed
Being tired and hungry are some of the biggest tantrum triggers. Tantrums can often happen around a similar time each day so think about whether it’s time for a meal or sleep is in order.
If your toddler no longer has a nap maybe consider some quiet reading time or an easy activity that is less likely to cause frustration or tears.
It can be hard when your buttons are being pushed along with your temper but try to keep your cool around your kids when they’re throwing a hissy fit.
If you're tense, your kids will pick up on it and play on it and no one will win in that situation.
If you feel you aren’t able to speak calmly (story of my life, haha!) it could be an opportunity to pass the fun over to your partner in crime to deal with!
It’s better than crying right?!
Like everything else in life, laughter is often thought to be the best medicine so it couldn’t hurt to laugh when the going gets tough with a tantrum in full burst.
Just try to make sure it doesn’t affect your tot the wrong way and they may just end up laughing with you.
Escape the potential scene of the crime
Watch for triggers and warning signs before a tantrum starts and you might avert a disaster. For example, if you’re at a play centre and see a tug-of-war starting in the ball pit, it might be time to move your little one before fireworks erupt.
Copy what they do
It may seem childish to you at the time but if you’re up for it, mimic what your toddler does and see how they react. There have already been a few occasions where I’ve copied the “boo hoo hoo” noises coming from my daughter and she ends up laughing instead.
The best thing to remember when it comes to everything related to parenting is every child is different and every parent copes in different ways, not everything will work for everyone.
And most importantly, no matter how hard you work to prevent tantrums, you will never fully eliminate them!
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