It’s a simple fact: toddlers have tantrums – the Terrible Two’s! It can be a very difficult situation for a parent to handle – especially one who is new to parenting – but once you know a little more about it, things can get easier. Of course, every child is different so not all will respond in the same way to the same routines, but let’s have a look at some of the things you can do to make things easier in the tantrum situation!
Before we do, a little more about tantrums, and why they come about. Your child is not as emotionally aware as an adult – or indeed as an older child, as we’re talking about kids between the ages of 1 to 3 years here – and may erupt in anger and ire when stressed, hungry, or simply when not getting you to understand what they want. Some tantrums are more violent than others, but there is always something you can do to help.
Food and Comfort
Most of the time, a toddler throwing a tantrum is likely to be hungry. The answer is to always have some snacks on you – healthy of course, and not too much – but don’t let them catch on or they’ll just keep performing for more! Offer them food, and if it works, you’ve won! If it’s not food, then it could be they are tired or perhaps not happy in the surroundings. Take the child close to you and – yes, it’s a cliché but it works – give them a big hug, and you’ll find they perhaps just wanted comfort.
There is an opposite reaction to dealing with a tantrum by bringing the child close to you: let them have a tantrum, and give them space to do it! Children need to let off steam – they get stressed too – so if you can give the child a clear area in which they can shout and yell for a few minutes, without the possibility of causing harm, you might find that to be the best way.
Lower Your Voice
Softly spoken is the way to go when dealing with a screaming child; raising your voice will only lead to them raising theirs! Take them away from the environment you are in – preferably to an outdoor space – and talk them down, softly and calmly, from the height they are at, and you’ll find that this may do the trick.
You might also try distraction; if the child is having a tantrum because they can’t get what they want, give them something else to occupy them. This tactic often takes the child’s mind off what was bothering them in the first place.
The overall trick to handling a child who is misbehaving in this way is to learn what it is that drives them to it, and find a way of keeping that aspect away from them. Your toddler will have tantrums – every single one does – but if you try some of the above, you might find that you have everything under control.