Are you dealing with a happy child for one minute and then the next second they have completely lost it; shouting, screaming, throwing things around etc…. Well if you have a toddler in the house then you are bound to deal with toddler tantrums.
My 3 year old boy started his toddler tantrums at around the age of 18 months. It would be anything from screaming, throwing things, shouting or not listening to what I had to say. This would happen at home, public places or other people’s houses. As embarrassing as it may get when your out in public, you need to understand what your toddler wants or why he is doing this. Put yourself in your little one’s shoes: It can be really frustrating to be unable to say what you mean or want. It took me almost 6-8 months to find the best way to deal with these tantrums. Here are some ways I use to cope and cut down toddler tantrums short:
1. Talk to them:
- As ridiculous as it may sound, talking to them really works. Even if your child is 2 years, communicate with them. When you are talking to them, it is extremely important that you get down to their level, and keep eye contact and speak to them. Do not stand over them and try talking. It is intimidating for a little child to be speaking to an adult who’s triple their size when they are throwing a tantrum. There is an automatic communication barrier. They won’t understand what you’re saying to them. So get down to their level and speak politely yet firmly.
- Have you ever walked by a toy store and have your little one run in and grab a toy and throw a tantrum to buy it? That happens a lot with me! As much as you would want to buy it for your little one, it’s important to make your child understand that not everything they want, they’ll get. If you make your child understand this logic from a young age, it will help in the future. They will learn to value money and work for what they want. In a situation like this, get down to their level and have a calm conversation. Try to explain to them as to why they cannot have that toy. Examples: we have so many toys at home or I don’t think this is a really good toy. Try to talk to them about a toy at home they love and constantly play with. Example: would you like to go home and play with your dinosaurs? Don’t ever snatch the toy from your child. You’re conversation should end like this; you’ve been a very good boy. Please put the toy back, thank you!
- Giving you’re child a hug in the middle of a fit is probably the last thing any frustrated parent would want to do. But sometimes it can really help them settle down. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their behavior.
3. Create a diversion:
- Try to create a distraction when your little one breaks down. Get your kid engaged and interested in something else so that they forget about their meltdown. If you’re going out, fill your purse with some interesting items to use when a situation like this arises. Studies have shown that children have a really short attention span , so they can easily get distracted. Make sure when you try to do this, you have a lot of enthusiasm.
4. Ignore the kid:
- “During a tantrum, your child is literally out of his mind. Their emotions take over which creates an override in the frontal cortex of the brain, the area that makes decisions and judgments,” says Jay Hoecker, MD, a Rochester, Minnesota, pediatrician. “That’s why reasoning doesn’t help as the reasoning part of their brain isn’t working.” So it’s best to just let them be and vent out their frustration till they are calm again.
5. Show them who’s the boss:
- Sometimes it necessary to stand your ground when your toddler goes into tantrum mode. Usually repeating the same line over and over again bores them out and they snap out of their crazy behavior. For example: My 3 year old went through a phase where he wanted chocolate first thing in the morning. My line to him would be; “we do not eat chocolate first thing in the morning” and I kept repeating this every time he made a fuss until he understood. Now it’s very rare that he asks.
Temper tantrums in toddlers is extremely normal so you don’t need to panic if your toddler does this. Tantrums in toddlers is basically an expression of frustration because they do not understand certain things or are unable to speak or explain what they want or how they feel. Loosing your cool will not help in this matter, whereas try to understand your toddler and the situation.
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