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Inside: Tried-and-true techniques for tackling temper tantrums in toddlers. Be ready to restore calm and order in your home by implementing these strategies, Mama! Let’s do this!
Toddler tantrums are a common and typical part of the brain development of young children, but dealing with these behaviors may be a difficult experience that disrupts our peace and sanity.
What can we do to handle these challenging behaviors? Not sure how? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about managing toddler tantrums with ease.
Examples of Temper Tantrums in Toddlers
Picture this: You and your toddler go to the grocery store for a quick in-and-out shopping trip. They see a toy they like and demand it. You start walking after politely reminding them that they have plenty of toys at home.
Your toddler reacts by throwing a full-fledged public tantrum—crying and screaming. Everyone is staring at you, and you wish the earth would swallow you up. Instead of standing firm, you take a deep breath and concede, and your toddler gets a new toy.
After all, everyone was looking, and you just wanted the whole thing to be over!
Here’s another scenario: Your family is crammed into a car for a long drive to see a family member on your partner’s side when your child begins screaming and wriggling, insisting on getting out of their car seat in the middle of the interstate, posing a safety issue.
As a result, your small expedition is delayed because you are irritated and decide to stop to find out what they need.
“Tantrums are not bad behavior. Tantrums are an expression of emotion that became too much for the child to bear. No punishment is required. What your child needs is compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in.”
Frequently Asked Questions about Toddler Tantrums
Every parent has had their fair share of distressing meltdowns. You are not alone!
So what’s the best way to handle your toddler’s tantrum or defiant behavior the next time you visit public places?
Do you give in and hope for the best, or do you let your child scream the house down while everyone looks on in horror?
Let’s delve deeper into toddler tantrums by answering a few more of the lingering questions all parents ask at this point in their lives:
- Examples of Temper Tantrums in Toddlers
- Frequently Asked Questions about Toddler Tantrums
- So, What are the Most Effective Ways to Manage a Child’s Temper Tantrum?
- Things to Do to Prevent Unnecessary Temper Tantrums
- Coping with toddler tantrums
- Last Bits of Wisdom for Mothers Dealing with Toddler Tantrums
What is a tantrum?
Temper tantrums are a normal part of child development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
They are sudden, uncontrolled releases of displeasure and aggravation, typical in the toddler years. According to this, “tantrums may involve screaming, stomping, kicking, or throwing themselves to the ground.”
Tantrums can also involve whining, crying, hitting, and biting. At some point, it may be worse than those mentioned above.
Why do toddlers have tantrums?
Tantrums are very common in children between the ages of 1 and 3. They are a child’s way to learn self-control. It’s how they tell you that they’re upset or frustrated.
These tantrums happen when a child feels strong emotions but doesn’t know how to express them. Difficult situations like hunger, discomfort, rejection, or simply sensory overload are just a few tantrum triggers. However, the most common trigger is not getting enough sleep.
Since little ones don’t have the language skills needed to voice out how they feel, their frustration builds up to the point where they throw a fit.
Even though it’s reassuring to know that a toddler’s tantrum is nothing to worry about, it still doesn’t make handling them any better.
At what age do toddler tantrums end?
Unless an imminent underlying cause exists, temper tantrums will diminish as your child grows older and becomes more vocal in expressing their desires.
How many tantrums a day are normal for a toddler?
One tantrum that lasts an average of 11 minutes a day is nothing to worry about. Washington University researchers studied it, which you can read more about here.
When should you worry about your toddler’s tantrums?
Talk to your child’s healthcare provider if your toddler has a tantrum lasting more than 15 minutes that is either violent or aggressive, so they can refer your little one to a few child psychologists you are comfortable with.
This may be due to sensory processing issues similar to those experienced by people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and must be addressed at once.
So, What are the Most Effective Ways to Manage a Child’s Temper Tantrum?
Related article about toddlers: Cavities in Toddlers: What Does a Cavity Look Like?
Quick win: Read this book about how to talk to little kids so they will listen. This guide will empower parents like us to build fulfilling and happy relationships with our little ones. Be sure to check it out!
You can effectively manage toddler tantrums with patience and understanding. Implementing helpful strategies that address the root of these temper tantrums can help toddlers navigate their emotions while promoting healthy behavior.
Here are six simple ways to deal with your toddler’s big feelings:
1. Stay calm
It is always a good idea to remain calm. I know! Easier said than done. However, the best way to win power struggles is to try to keep your cool.
When managing your toddler’s outbursts, taking deep breaths and thinking happy thoughts work like a charm as well!
A word of advice: Keep your own temper in check!
2. Learn the art of distraction
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to pull your toddler’s focus from their tantrum to something else.
You can try introducing a new activity to them by grabbing their favorite toy, asking them questions, or simply taking them to a different room.
Making a funny face can even be a simple way to turn a difficult situation around.
Sometimes, a gentle distraction is all it takes to snap your toddler out of it.
3. Try to meet your toddler’s needs
Unmet needs often cause toddler tantrums. For example, if your little one is throwing a temper tantrum because of fatigue or hunger, try putting them to bed (if possible) or giving them healthy snacks.
4. Look past the tantrum
I am not suggesting that you disregard your toddler altogether. Your presence, even in silence, is all they need. Stick around, so they know you will be available anytime they’re ready for that hug.
Remember, you are their safe place!
5. Acknowledge Your Child’s Emotions
Make sure your toddler knows they are loved and safe in your presence. Acknowledge how they feel and speak in a gentle and low tone. Now isn’t the time to try to reason with a 2-year-old. Offer them a big hug or give them space if they need it.
6. Pick your battles
You’ve got to choose your battles in life sometimes. Giving in to toddler tantrums is not generally recommended but giving in every once in a while is okay. Just try not to turn it into a habit.
Related article: 5 Simple Ways to Foster Toddler Independence at Home
Things to Do to Prevent Unnecessary Temper Tantrums
When it comes to dealing with toddler tantrums, prevention is everything.
You can help prevent unnecessary outbursts and create a more peaceful environment for everyone by understanding your child’s triggers and employing effective methods.
These emotional stimuli can vary from child to child, but some typical factors include:
Always keep in mind that these triggers are mainly attributed to a lack of communication skills. By being aware of these triggers, you can address them before they escalate into a full-blown meltdown.
Here are a few strategies you can implement to prevent your toddler from experiencing big emotions they can’t control:
Establish a consistent routine.
Toddlers thrive on routine. Consistent schedules provide structure and predictability, which can be immensely beneficial in preventing meltdowns resulting from anxiety or frustration. Incorporate sufficient nap times into your toddler’s daily routine to make sure they are well-rested.
Avoid scenarios that could set off your child’s tantrum. A solid routine, rather than random occasions, can help a toddler feel more in control, promoting a sense of calm and well-being throughout the day.
Additionally, a consistent routine can help establish healthy eating habits, promote better sleep, and encourage more productive playtime activities.
Change your child’s diet.
Manage your toddler’s tantrums by watching what they eat. Limit sugary treats and eat more foods high in amino acids, such as yogurt, fish, and eggs. Provide them with fruits and vegetables as well.
Give them something healthy to munch on every two to three hours to keep them filled. Three meals plus two-three snacks—a total of six times a day.
Practice open communication at home.
Toddlers frequently struggle to express their demands and emotions verbally. Promote open dialogue and alternate communication means, such as sign language or visual aids, to help toddlers express themselves more effectively and avoid frustration.
Shower them with lots of affection.
There can never be too much attachment for a young child. Substantial amounts of warmth and affection are essential for brain development and actually foster independence.
Toddlers require this sense of security to strengthen the skills that will allow them to grow into empowered, self-assured young kids.
According to research on early childhood development, it is essential for young children to feel safe, nurtured, and loved. These emotions are crucial to developing strong social and emotional skills, which will help them learn appropriate ways to behave and control their emotions.
Set clear boundaries and expectations.
Offering age-appropriate options allows children to feel in charge while still adhering to the basic rules. Limiting their options keeps them from becoming overwhelmed while still giving them a sense of autonomy.
Demonstrate positive behavior in stressful situations.
Be your toddler’s role model. Small children are highly perceptive and frequently mirror the reactions of adults around them. Staying calm during hard times and difficult situations teaches infants how to regulate their own emotions in a healthy way.
You can considerably limit the occurrence of unnecessary temper tantrums by actively applying this set of tactics and customizing them to suit your toddler’s needs. Remember that every child is different, so it may take some trial and error to find out what works best for your little one.
Related article: Starting Preschool [How to Prepare your Toddler]
Coping with toddler tantrums
Nothing about toddler tantrums is easy for you or your child. They are always stressful for everyone involved.
So, it only makes sense to equip ourselves with an array of approaches when aggressive behavior is likely to occur. Here’s a recap:
- I urge you to practice emotional control. While some are better at regulating emotions, exerting control over emotions for most of us can be a challenge. There are several ways to do this, but the most common is controlled breathing. Exercise deep breathing every once in a while, and you’ll get used to it in no time.
- Learn to divert your child’s attention as well. Distracting them in the middle of a tantrum has been proven time and again to work.
- Make an effort to meet your toddler’s needs. Find more positive ways to find the root cause of a tantrum and stop it before it explodes.
- Look past the tantrum, but stick around and be prepared to give them that hug when they’re ready.
- Assure your toddler that they are loved and safe in your company. Recognize their emotions and talk in a soft, quiet voice. Give them a hearty embrace or some space if they need it.
- You can sometimes pick and choose your battles. Giving in to toddler tantrums is not ideal, but it is acceptable to do so if necessary. Just don’t make it a habit.
Last Bits of Wisdom for Mothers Dealing with Toddler Tantrums
You are not alone on this path. Many other parents have faced and conquered similar obstacles. Seek guidance from other moms who may have invaluable insights or solutions that have worked for them.
Spend some time learning about child development and behavioral intervention techniques. Recognizing the root causes of tantrums can help you adapt better. Know that your child is still learning how to regulate their emotions, so expressing feelings of comfort and assurance might help diffuse the situation.
Practice self-care during these trying times. Eat that ice cream! Take breaks when you need them. Indulge in things that bring you joy! Ask for support from loved ones or experts. Keep doing things that can contribute to preserving your mental health.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. It’s normal to feel frustrated or overwhelmed at times but keep in mind that you’re doing your best.
Celebrate the smallest things and recognize your efforts in navigating through these rough times.
Things may get worse before they get better, but you’re stronger than you think you are. So just take a step back and give it some time! This will pass quickly.
Temper tantrums will be replaced by good behavior before you know it.
Never even dare think you’re a bad parent and failing as a mom! At the end of the day, your child’s emotions are out of your control, and this stage of development in their life is only temporary.
Remember that encouragement is necessary not only for your toddler but also for you as a mom going through this stage of parenting.
With patience, understanding, support from others, and self-care habits in place, you can weather any temper tantrum storm with grace and resilience.
You got this, Mama!
Talk to you soon,
So, do you have any nifty tricks to handle toddler tantrums up your sleeve?
If you or anyone you know does, don’t forget to drop them below to help moms like us. You can also share this post with your mommy friends while at it.
Thank you for stopping by!