Let me guess, are you the proud owner of a child going through the terrible twos or who has become a three-nager?
Has your little one started to resemble a scene from The Exorcist?
- breath holding
Chances are you’re experiencing a Toddler Tantrum and you’re here because you’re at the end of your tether, you’re patience has run dry and you went some advice on
How To Deal With Toddler Tantrums.
Fear not! I am going to share my top tips on how to deal with toddler tantrums that I have picked up over the years.
Find Out Why
Look for the reason behind the tantrum. It could be something as simple as giving them the wrong colour cup. To us as adults its not a big deal. But to a toddler it’s a Massive deal!
Tantrums generally come from a child’s lack of understanding of their emotions and understanding of the world around them. They are struggling to communicate their needs and don’t yet have the skills to think rationally.
If you do a bit of detective work, you may be able to find the route cause of the tantrum and stop it before it starts to escalate.
Stick To Routines And Introduce Changes Slowly
We all know that things in life can change. Things get in the way or we have to do things differently.
But imagine you’re a toddler. You feel secure because you know what’s coming or happening next. You do something different and their little world falls apart around them. Correct?
If things have to change for good introduce them slowly and be patient.
Also, know your child’s limits. Are tantrums more likely to happen when your child is tired or hungry? Make sure they are getting enough sleep and enough to eat.
Stay Calm And Don’t Make Scene
I know it’s hard when you’ve got a toddler screaming at you. Believe me Mama, I’ve been there.
You’re toddler is making a racket, you’re trying to keep them safe from hurting themselves or others and trying to work out why the tantrum has happened. You’re thinking ‘how on earth do I deal with toddler tantrums?!
You’re panicking, you feel like hitting your head off a wall or going into hiding. This is your ‘fight or flight’ kicking in.
Now, remember your toddler doesn’t quite know how to regulate their emotions yet. (Their fight or flight) They learn from watching and copying us.
If we stay calm, they’re more likely to calm down. If you’re shouting alongside their screaming they’re going to scream more. They’re going to copy what you do!
Simply stay calm, move them away from the ‘Why’ (if you know) and soothe them. Help them regulate their mood.
Use Simple Language
So when a child is in a full-blown tantrum, they can not process a lot of what is going on around them. All their senses are in overload. Instead of trying to ‘talk them out of it’ or trying to explain in great details why the tantrum has happened to use plain and simple sentences. Be clear with instructions, tell that what you want them to do instead of asking them. As if they have a choice and don’t want to they will say No and not do what you have asked!
Say No And Mean It!
Set your child clear boundaries. Follow through and don’t make false promises. Think before you speak. Avoid making threats that you are unwilling to follow through with. Children will learn that you make ‘false promises’ leading to a false sense of security by giving them mixed messages.
Let Your Toddler Have Some Control
Yes, I’m serious. Offer choices that aren’t important such as “Do you want a banana or an apple?” or “Do you want to brush your teeth before or after having a bath?” This way, you aren’t asking “Do you want to brush your teeth now?” which we all know will be a big fat “no.”
Give Positive Attention And Rewards
Praise your little one for anything ‘good’ that they have done! Do not reward a tantrum. Make them feel like they have done something really special. Often toddler tantrums are a cry for attention. Acknowledge, their feelings and rewards positive and good behaviours.
Teach Them New Skills And Independence
Frustration and anger can also contribute to tantrums. Many of them are caused by situations where a child can’t do something for themselves. Show your child how to do things for themselves or show them how to do something that they are struggling with. Again give lots of positive praise and reward.
Distraction Your Child
If you can recognise that a tantrum is brewing, distract your child. Take advantage of their short attention span. Move them away from a situation causing them frustration. Find something of their interest, they will soon have forgotten what was causing them to be upset.
Choose Your Battles
Yes, you do have a choice! When it comes to behaviour and discipline you get to choose what is negotiable and what is not. For example, does it really matter if your toddler wants to wear a fancy dress costume to the supermarket? Is it worth the tantrum? No!
Acknowledge And Name Their Feelings
Talk to your child about their feelings. When they are crying, acknowledge that they are sad. When they’re laughing acknowledge that they are happy. When they are having a tantrum acknowledge they are upset and angry. That way they can start to understand their emotions.
I really hope this advice helps, let me give you peace of mind that this ‘phase’ does pass.
Good luck and let me know if it works for you. Remember to take care of yourself too. Check out my Mummy’s Basis Self Care Checklist