7 Tips To Control Your Toddler’s Tantrums
Tantrums usually happen between toddlers who are 2 and 4 years old. They can vary in frequency, duration and intensity. All depends on your child’s personality, the parent’s way to deal with this situation and external influences (new sibling, new school, etc). Here’s 7 Tips To Control Your Toddler’s Tantrums
Being the mother of 2 little girls I’ve had my fair share of tantrums. Specially with my younger one who, from time to time still has them. Se has screamed, threw herself on the floor, kicked chairs, furniture, windows and other kids. I’ve asked other parents, teachers and done a lot of research on the subject. Unfortunately I came to realize that I was doing all the wrong things to deal with her tantrums.
When I started practicing the tips I will share below. They worked like a charm!.
Before I share my tips to control your toddler’s tantrums first it is important to know WHY they are having them:
-Usually a child feels that they have no control on the most important decisions: what to wear, what to eat, what preschool to go to, etc.
–Frustration: a toddler may not have the specific language to explain their feelings, wants and needs.
–Anxiety: Has there been a new change in the family?. New sibling, divorce, etc
–Irritability: Sleeping well at night and eating a nutritious meal everyday may help your child be less irritable.
Now that you know why they get so emotional over the littlest things you can empathize with them, and the next time they have those tantrums I am sure you will be a little more understanding. A Tantrum sometimes is a “cry for help”. Even if they kick you or scream at you in the process.
Here’s 7 Tips to Control your Toddler’s Tantrums :
1) Give Him/Her Choices : Todder’s need to have some sort of control over their lives. So let them choose what clothing they want to wear, even if it’s ugly or mismatched. Ask him/her what they want to eat or snack on.
2) DO NOT walk away while they are having the tantrum: A common mistake we all make. They are having a tantrum and we just leave them alone until they “supposedly” calm down. If your child is anxious or frustrated about something, and you leave them alone you are sending the message that they can only count on you in the good times. I am not saying hug them or praise them on their bad behavior but stay in the room where they can see you.
3) DO NOT Yell, threaten or get physical with them during the Tantrum: I am sure everyone have done this and found this unsuccessful. Remember above when I said your child is crying out for help?. If you yell at them they will fear you, making the anxiety or frustration worse. And the next day they will have even more tantrums.
4) DO NOT Tell them they are BAD/GOOD: If you tell a 3-4 year old that they are a bad kid, guess what?. They are going to believe you. Labeling your child will lower their self esteem. When the tantrum is over sit with them and so you’ll be on the same eye level and explain to them that this behavior is not the correct way to act. Urge them to “use their words” and to ask him/her how they feel and why are they sad.
5) The Punishment for The Tantrum should be contingent on the Behavior: If your toddler has a tantrum don’t tell them that they can’t go and eat ice cream later because they misbehaved. At this age they won’t be able to make the connection between the 2 events. If the tantrum involved kicking a door or chairs, make them clean up the door or fix the chairs. Tell them to apologize to you or other persons involved.
6) Praise correct behavior: When your child listens to you and do what you say praise them by telling them “Good job! I am so proud of you!. You put away all the toys when I told you”. Remember don’t use the Good/Bad labels.
7) Make sure your child is sleeping/eating correctly: like I mentioned above, a toddler needs to eat healthy meals and sleep well thru the night. It makes a huge difference!.
The great news is that eventually, Tantrums will go away as they grow up and mature. If you’ve been struggling with your toddler like I have, don’t worry. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Part of Growing Pains. And as difficult as it is to hear, sometimes as parents we make it worse.
I hope this article helps not only in controlling your child’s tantrums but also to know that you’re not alone. We’ve all been there.