One minute your toddler is as happy as can be, and the other minute he or she is a ball of rage and completely out of control! Sound familiar?
Tantrums are unfortunately inevitable if you have a toddler at home. They are the most effective way for a toddler to express their frustration. There is no definite way to prevent tantrums, but listed below are a few effective ways in which you can mitigate them.
- Be Consistent – It is very important for you as a parent to maintain consistency. This helps your toddler understand what is appropriate and what is not. Establish a daily routine so that your toddler knows what to expect. Stick to the routine as much as possible, including nap time and bedtime.
- Avoid the “fearsome four”–These are hunger, fatigue, boredom and over-stimulation. Make sure you run errands when your toddler isn’t likely to be hungry or tired. If you’re expecting to wait in a line, pack a small toy or snack to occupy him or her.
- Provide your toddler with choices –Avoid saying “no” to everything. To give your toddler a sense of control, let him or her make choices. For example ask questions like – “Would you like to wear your red shirt or your blue shirt?” or “Do you want to eat cereal or yogurt this morning?”
- Do not give into your toddler’s request – If you give in to his or her demands when they have an outbreak, it will set a pattern that will lead to more tantrums. In effect, you’ve taught your toddler that the best way to get what he or she wants is to scream, yell, and be out of control.
- Restrain your reaction – The most important tool for dealing with a tantrum is to not give your toddler the attention they seek – instead, provide them with no reaction at all. No words, no eye contact. If you can, simply walk away, a tantrum isn’t nearly as rewarding when you remove the audience.
- Provide positive attention – When your toddler gets the attention they need from you daily, they will not find the need to throw tantrums. Toddlers who get less attention from their parents are found to throw more tantrums.
- Be empathetic – When your toddlers are in the middle of a tantrum, it’s important to be empathetic but not give in or lose it. If it’s appropriate, you can say statements like, “I know it’s very frustrating, I understand you wanted to get this toy today.”
We hope you follow these suggestions and change your behavior by adopting the above-mentioned methods. It is important for a parent to influence their child in a positive manner rather than control them. We wish you all the best in taming your toddler’s tantrums!