Toddler tantrums are terrible. For many parents,
they are inevitable. Learning how to deal with tantrums is an important life skill, and starts right from that moment in the kitchen or in a store where your toddler starts a meltdown.
Managing tantrums effectively will help your child learn to cope with frustration and not getting their way, both now and as they grow up.
The most common tantrum trigger is when a child hears ìnoî ó it represents rage at not getting their way; at not being able to control their world. Tantrums are more likely to occur when a child is tired, hungry or frustrated.
For parents, a tantrum can be embarrassing and exhausting and there is an urge to give in just to make it stop! Don’t do it! It is crucial that you not ever give in to tantrums, because doing so will VERY effectively reinforce the message that bad behaviour is an effective way to get what you want. Interestingly, sometimes giving in to a tantrum can be even worse than always giving in. If your child never knows when you might give in, the tantrums will become more frequent and more severe until you finally relent.
The three important steps to take during a tantrum are:
Walk away and don’t talk, yell, or give your child attention during the tantrum. If your child tantrums in public and you donít have the nerve to wait it out, a good alternative is to pick her up and take her to the car or another room to allow her to finish working through her anger.
Reward good behaviour with positive attention:
When your child ends the tantrum, give him a big hug and snuggle. Tell him you love him and that you are glad he has calmed down.
Stick to your guns:
Even if your child calms down, do not change your mind. Once a child works through the tantrum, it is common for her to say i’ll calmed down, so can I have a cookie now? Keep in mind that your reason for saying no in the first place has not changed just because your child has calmed down. Don’t be surprised if your child begins to tantrum when she hears your second no. You can handle it you’re a pro!
Small number of children do not respond positively to this method. Ignoring the tantrum makes it worse and they are not able to calm themselves down they might continue for hours when they are not helped to calm down. While this is still not a reason to give in to the tantrum, your child may need you to hold him firmly, talk quietly and rock him until he calms down. If your child has tantrums at an intensity level that is very difficult to control, you should consider seeking professional help from a psychologist or other parenting expert.
Hang in there, every parent has been through it and now you’re ready to face it!