5 Ways To Tame A Tantrum
Admit it: Toddler tantrums make it really hard to keep your cool. Kids between the ages of one and four haven’t developed ways to cope with their frustrations and tend to just lose it instead. Strong-willed and deep-feeling children often have more frequent outbursts, as their ability to verbally communicate their feelings isn’t as strong as their physical ability to do so. Fortunately, there are ways to stop a temper tantrum in its tracks—and avoid them altogether.
Keep Your Cool
Whether the tantrum happens in your living room or the middle of Costco, it’s tempting to throw a fit of your own in response. We wouldn’t recommend giving into that temptation, as yelling, crying or getting mad will just make matters worse. Instead, lead by example by remaining calm. For some kids, the most effective reaction is no reaction. If your child’s tantrum is fed by the negative attention she gets as you’re trying to tame it, it may be better to give her some space and not respond at all. Comfort your toddler until he or she calms down and is able to better communicate his or her frustrations.
Create A Distraction
You may feel like your purse has become Mary Poppins’s magical bag, but carrying around snacks, toys and other items can help take your toddler’s mind off of the cause of his tantrum by creating a distraction. Fortunately, kids have a pretty short attention span, making it easy to divert their attention. Distractions can help fend off a major tantrum before it happens, avoiding those embarrassing grocery aisle meltdowns.
If there’s one thing we know about throwing a tantrum it is that they always involves a child not getting what he or she wants. Whether it’s not getting to play with their favorite toy or leaving Grandma’s house too soon, kids express their disapproval by acting out. Keep a log of what triggers your toddler’s tantrums, noting why and when they happen. If you usually grocery shop in the afternoon and middle-of-the-aisle tantrums are a recurring habit, consider shopping after a mid-morning nap.
Accept The Tears
A hug might be the last thing you want to do when you have a screaming child in front of you, but if your little one is acting out because he or she is unable to communicate his or her frustrations, comforting gestures, like a hug, may be the key to calming him or her down and getting to the root of the problem. Try not to shush your child when he or she is having a tantrum. Let your child know that it’s okay to get upset or angry when something goes wrong, but communicate the importance of expressing those negative feelings in more constructive ways.
Create A Calm Space
Designate a room in your home where your toddler can go when he or she is acting out. This room shouldn’t be seen as a place for punishment, but as a space where he or she can calm down and feel safe. Removing your little one from the source of the problem can drastically change his or her behavior.
It’s not uncommon for toddlers to act out while you’re preparing for the arrival of a new baby or in a fit of jealousy after the baby is home from the hospital. Prepare your child for the new addition with these tips and consider remembering these tricks for taming sibling rivalry.