Toddler Temper Tantrums
Let’s talk tantrums. There’s no avoiding it- at some point between 18 months and three, your sweet, lovely, smiley baby is going to treat you to a fair few contrary, wilful, ear-splitting toddler strops. Stamping, screaming, sobbing: tantrums can really shock until you know how to make them stop.
Temper tantrums are common in children, especially between ages one and four, when they are still learning how to communicate effectively. Popular tantrum techniques include crying, hitting, kicking, stamping, throwing things, and holding their breath.
If they become regular or intense, parents need to look into what’s causing the tantrums and find ways to stop them. Here are our top tips:
- Put your toddler in certain situations and you can practically guarantee a tantrum. Solution? Avoid these situations in the first place.
- A tired and hungry child is a tantrum waiting to happen. Make sure your child is well rested and eats healthy meals throughout the day.
- Stick to a daily routine of regular mealtimes and bedtimes and at least one nap a day.
- Explain what’s happening. If you are doing anything out of the ordinary, talk your child through it first. If they have some idea of what to expect, they are less likely to kick up a fuss.
- Switch to toddler time. Toddlers don’t do rushing. They just don’t understand why you’re in such a hurry to get to nursery, the shops, your friend’s house. And frantically hurrying them along can set off a strop. Build in extra time to get places and you’ll save tempers all round.
- Make your house toddler-safe. If all you ever say is, “Don’t touch that!”, you’re just inviting rebellion.
- Find a distraction. Point with huge excitement at a car in the street or a toy across the room: anything that will divert her attention from what’s upsetting her.
- Act the fool. She won’t get in her buggy? You get in instead! Even toddlers can’t laugh and strop at the same time. Think big picture and let the small things go. Don’t make an issue of every little toddler annoyance.
- Seem to agree. She wants a biscuit; you don’t want to spoil her appetite for lunch. Substitute, “No, no biscuits!” for “Yes, we’ll have a biscuit at lunchtime.”
- Offer choices. Older toddlers love having choices: it makes them feel in control. Just be sure both choices get you the result you’re after! So, instead of, “Put your coat on or we don’t go to the park!”, say, “Which coat are you wearing to the park: the red one or the blue one?”
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