Toddlerhood is a fun, yet challenging period in your child’s life. Toddlers are curious and are generally easy to entertain. As a parent, you probably know how quickly things can turn around: one minute you are playing with your child, the next he is on the floor kicking and screaming. Toddler tantrums are disturbing for parents to witness, as it seems like the child is out of control; and for a brief period, he truly is. Tantrums are an essential part of development. While time outs are a popular discipline option, they may not work well for younger children (1 to 3 years). Many other tools exist to help your child. Here are 4 ways you can handle your toddler’s tantrum.
1. Redirect with something fun
Toddlers tend to have very short attention spans. During a tantrum, you can use this to your advantage by distracting him with something else. You could try redirecting with a favorite toy, cars driving by the house, a favorite activity, or some silly faces.
2. Offer a cuddle
Sometimes, it may seem like there is no way to reason with you child. When children are upset, they have great difficult hearing you and sometimes even seeing you. In this case, a cuddle can be very powerful in bringing your child out of a tantrum. Since a tantrum feels like a loss of control, offering some reassure via physical comfort can calm him down quickly. You can melt away all the frustration and anger with a simple hug.
3. Ignore the crisis
There are times when your child may have a tantrum in order to get your attention. If this is the case, ignoring your child’s antics may be the best way to deal with the crisis. You are the best judge of your child’s character so if you know a particular tantrum is meant to get your attention, you can make it clear that it will not work. Use this moment to teach your child that a temper tantrum will not get the attention he seeks. As long as you know your child is safe, it is ok to let him let out his frustration without your intervention.
4. Be consistent
Children have the ability to learn very quickly when tantrums get them what they want. Ensure you are consistent in your discipline methods and do not give in even when your child is being incredibly persistent. For example, if you say no to him having a cookie before dinner, you must stick with the rule. The minute your child learns he will get a cookie by throwing a tantrum spells disaster for you. You will likely feel overwhelmed from hearing the same question over and over again but stick to consistency and tantrums should diminish over time once your child understands you will not change your mind.
Tantrums are challenging to deal with. Things can escalate quickly and finding what your child will respond to make take some trial and error. Children generally outgrow the frequent tantrum phase by the age of three so try to remember this next time you are feeling completely overwhelmed; there is light at the end of the tunnel!
How do you prefer to handle your toddler’s tantrums?