Tantrums are almost like the toddler mom right of passage.
Whether it's screaming and rolling around the floor, hitting and biting you in public, or throwing and flinging food in a supermarket, these mini meltdowns are all par for the course in toddlerhood.
But do you know how to properly deal with them?
How to manage a tantrum
It's embarrassing and infuriating watching your little angel descend into meltdown, especially when there's other people around.
These tantrums often leave both mom and toddler upset and in foul form for the rest of the day.
But you should not punish your child for this behaviour.
While you can't prevent these mini meltdowns, there are ways to better manage them.
What not to do
It's important to use distraction to help calm your toddler during a tantrum rather than using it to prevent a tantrum completely.
This is because distracting your child away from their emotions before they even get upset means they don't get to express themselves and learn how to work through it.
And that can lead to their emotions bubbling up and eventually boiling over and manifesting in other troublesome behaviours.
Your child needs to express their emotions so that they can learn to regulate them, and you need to encourage them to do so.
So when your child is in the middle of a tantrum, remain supportive in your body language (as hard as that might be), and ride the storm!
Understanding your toddler
When a toddler is acting out, they are usually doing it for a reason. And much of the time it's because they're craving independence.
So here are some tips to nurture that:
- Let them choose: Within reason, let them choose their outfit or their dinner for example
- Encourage other good aspects of their behaviour
- Embrace free play: Structure isn't always positive, and it's important to allow creative thinking
- Give them choices: Rather than an all-or-nothing showdown, give your child options.
It's important that you stay calm while managing a tantrum as they are all part of your child's growth and development.
When you say no, say it firmly and calmly and offer your child another option. The tone of your voice and their understanding of the word no is important to learn at an early age.
Sometimes children will test you and the limits and boundaries you have set. By giving in to this, your child may do it again.