Parenting a toddler who decides at the most inopportune times to show that they upset or frustrated is difficult. Of course, I'm being facetious when I use the word inopportune because when is it convenient for a parent to have a child throw a tantrum? Even though tantrums are normal and can occur when children are tired, hungry, uncomfortable or just plain want something like an object or for someone to do something, they are never pleasant or timely.
There are ways that we can deal with temper tantrums however that will make them less stressful for everyone involved. These 6Strategies for Dealing with Toddler Tantrums are ways that we've found work best for calming down our children when they break down.
Keep Your Cool
It's so important to keep your cool when your toddler throws a tantrum. Whether you are at home or out and about, it's easy to get frustrated with your child. Avoid the urge to yell at them or lecture them about the folly of their ways. Calmly tell them what is expected of them and then model that behavior. Remember that you are their example.
Tell the Child to Use Their Words
Many times tantrums occur as a result of frustration over their inability to articulate what they want. Taking the time to look them in the eye, and let them explain as best they can with their words can make a big difference. It may just be that there are too many things going on at one time and they need you to slow down.
Allow them to express their feelings with words and let them know that how they feel is important.
Don't Argue With Your Child
Trying to reason with a child that is in the throes of a tantrum is useless. Don't even attempt it. Do NOT start arguing with your child.
Try to Distract Your Child From Their Tantrum
Distraction usually works wonders.
Try and point to something they may find interesting and engaging. Ask a question in a soothing voice. Try making funny faces or talking to them in a silly voice.
Don't Ignore Aggressive Behavior
Some children get aggressive when they have a tantrum and may kick, bite, hit, slap or throw objects. If they act aggressively, stop the behavior immediately. Hold your child or remove them from the stimulus so that they cannot continue the aggressive behavior.
Try to Figure Out What is at the Root of the Behavior
Children have tantrums for a reason. Try to get to the root of the problem so that tantrums can be avoided in the future. Did your child miss their nap, or ? Were they hungry? Not engaged? Were they frustrated by something that happened? Did they not get enough exercise? Did they feel like they were being ignored? Was there something they wanted by that you didn't give them that caused anger?
Answering questions like these can help you pinpoint what may have been at the root of the problem so that as the parent you can be mindful of triggers and avoid them in the future.