7 Tips to Help Deal with Toddler Tantrums

Toddlerdom is an explosive period of development when children learn language, motor skills and problem solving, among other things. This is a major cause of frustration for a growing brain, resulting in tantrums. Dr. Karp, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of the book, The Happiest Baby says that:

“The challenge for parents is learning how to communicate with the caveman in the crib. All of us get more primitive when we get upset, that’s why they call it ‘going ape, But toddlers start out primitive, so when they get upset, they go Jurassic on you.” Dr. Karp says.

Here are 7 tips to help deal with a toddler’s tantrum:

  • Have a strategy

Chart a plan for how you intend to handle situations at home, out shopping, playing at friend’s houses. If a tantrum then occurs, remember to focus on your plan rather than the tantrum. This will help to keep you calm and in control.

  • Remind the child of what happened last time they misbehaved

If your child is old enough to understand, you can remind them of past experiences and the consequences of misbehaving, this sometimes might keep them in check or prevent the tantrum from happening.

  • Distract your child 

Shift their attention by calmly offering something else to do, see, eat or play with.

  • Nip it in the bud fast

Big tantrums often develop from smaller ones. The faster you can help the child stop the habit, the faster it stops.

  • Acknowledge their feelings, not the tantrum

This aligns you with them and sets the stage for him to learn to work through feelings and emotions. When he knows that you feel along with him, he will take the cue to talk to you rather than scream or shout. When a pre-school child throws a tantrum stay within the child’s sight but carry on normal activities without talking to him or acknowledging the tantrum.

  • Start on a clean slate 

Once a tantrum is over, give the chance of starting over on a clean slate, you can calm or pet your child, but do not fulfill any of the child’s demands. Otherwise, tantrums will become a way of life.

  • Stay Strong

If a tantrum does happen you need to be strong. If you are at church, for example, take your child out to the car or somewhere quiet until the tantrum is over. They need to see they can’t hold you hostage to a situation, otherwise, they will psychologically resort to tantrums whenever they want anything. Even in their adult life.

Note:

The key is to always remain calm and firm, but also show enough love.

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