Toddlers can be adorable. They’re tiny and cute and say and do the most hilarious things. But then there is the other side of toddlers that any parent and/or caregiver can attest to, and that’s the toddler tantrum. It’s simply astonishing how loud and out of control these little humans can get once set off, and it can leave adults struggling with how to best cope with it. So before the next toddler tantrum strikes, here are some of the ways you can handle the situation calmly and positively.
The Number One Rule – Keep Your Cool
This is a tip that most parents are well aware of, but it’s much easier said than done. The moment the tantrum starts, it’s important you stay firm, cool, and in control. If you start to get emotional and start yelling, this feeds into their emotions and can make things snowball out of control. If you feel yourself losing your calm, try taking some deep breaths and refocus.
Don’t Reward Poor Behaviour
Another tip is to avoid begging or bribing your child with treats, snacks and gifts so that they stop the tantrum. It won’t take long for your toddler to figure out this is the way they get “stuff” from you. They will equate a temper tantrum to getting what they want. This will make breaking the cycle and the habit much harder.
Try Distracting Them So They Move On
A great tactic in the moment is a distraction. Rather than get mad about them being angry, look for something that distracts them and switches up their focus. That could be asking them for help with a chore, asking them to make a mundane decision, bringing out an activity, and so forth.
Aggressive Behaviour Cannot Be Ignored
If your toddler doesn’t just get loud but also becomes aggressive during their tantrums, this is something that cannot be ignored. The best plan of action is to stop the behaviour immediately and then remove them from the environment/situation. You can then discuss why aggressive behaviour isn’t acceptable. Again, you need to stay calm and firm, even in an aggressive situation such as this.
Need More Help – Make Use Of Support Services
So what happens if you’ve tried these tips and are still having a hard time handling a toddler tantrum? It may be wise to look into support services that can offer more direct advice and tips. There are many support groups or professionals parents can talk to.
If you are a foster parent, check to see if the fostering agency offers support services for caregivers. When fostering in NI, you have access to a variety of support services and online advice and guides. It’s worth digging deeper to see what is available.
It Takes Patience & A Lot Of Willpower
Handling a toddler tantrum with grace and wit is something that takes a lot of patience and willpower on your part. It won’t be easy, and some tantrums will push your buttons more than others. Once you start using these tips, however, you’ll find you can diffuse the situation much faster.