Four Tips for Navigating Toddler Temper Tantrums
Few parts of parenting are as unpredictable, exhausting and anxiety-provoking as toddler temper tantrums.
In a matter of seconds, your usually well-behaved toddler can turn into a complete monster, yelling, crying and causing a scene with complete disregard to those around you.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to stay calm and put out the fire, but that’s usually easier said than done.
At ParentEducate.com, we’re dedicated to helping parents like you better navigate the day-to-day challenges of parenthood — including toddler temper tantrums.
Here are our four tips to help you manage your toddler’s next outburst with ease:
- Focus on stopping any aggressive and/or dangerous behavior first.
Before you start addressing the root causes of the tantrum, make sure your toddler isn’t at risk of harming themselves, others or the property around you. If they are, calmly move them to somewhere safe as soon as possible.
If your child is showing any signs of aggression including hitting, kicking or throwing, be stern and let them know that the behavior is not tolerated. Once you’ve ensured their safety (and the safety of those around you), you can start focusing on calming your toddler.
- Remain calm.
One of the most important things you can do during a toddler temper tantrum is to remain calm. Though it can be tempting to give in to the myriad of emotions you’re experiencing during your child’s outburst, it’s critical that you remain even-keeled as to not escalate the situation any further. Take a deep breath and try talking to your child in a soft, relaxing tone. Offer your child a warm hug and let them know you understand their frustration.
- Treat the root cause of the outburst.
When a kid throws a tantrum, it’s usually their way of trying to communicate something with you. Whether it’s frustration, hunger, fatigue or something else, we recommend you take a moment to try and figure out what your child is trying to tell you. Once you’re able to identify the root cause, you can then take steps to try and undo the frustration your tot is experiencing. For example, if the tantrum is their way of sharing that they’re exhausted, taking a moment to rest — or cutting your errands early — can help calm your child.
- Try to distract your toddler.
For younger toddlers, distraction can be a helpful tool to quickly end temper tantrums. If possible, find a way to divert your child’s attention from the source of frustration. For example, if they’re throwing a fit over not being able to select a toy from the store, task them with picking out something that’s already on your list. Distraction can also mean changing the setting you’re in, such as taking your toddler to another room.
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