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Toddler tantrums are a very common and typical part of a child’s brain development, but they can be difficult for us parents to deal with.
Picture this — you go to the store with your toddler for a quick in-and-out trip. They spot a toy they like and ask if they can have it. You kindly remind them that they have plenty of toys at home and carry on your way.
Your toddler responds by going into a full-on meltdown — crying and screaming. Everyone’s looking at you, and you wish the ground would swallow you. Instead of sticking to your guns, you give in, and your toddler gets the toy.
After all, everyone was looking, and you just wanted the whole thing to be over!
Every parent has been there. You are not alone!
“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.”
So what’s the best way to handle them? Do we give in and hope for the best or let our child scream the houses down while everyone looks on in horror?
Not sure what to do? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about handling toddler tantrums with ease.
Related article: Daily Toddler Routine [Free Sample Schedule Included]
Let’s delve deeper into the matter by answering a few of the lingering questions all parents ask at this point in our lives:
I mean, really… What is it? Why do we have to experience it?
A tantrum is a sudden uncontrolled release of displeasure and aggravation, typically in little children. 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, but we can discuss that later.
Tantrums are very common in children between the ages of 1 and 3 and are considered a regular part of their development. It’s how they tell you that they’re upset or frustrated.
These tantrums happen when children are overtired, hungry, uncomfortable, and not getting what they want. 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.
While it’s refreshing to know that tantrums aren’t something you need to worry about, it doesn’t make dealing with them any easier.
Temper tantrums will dwindle when your kid gets older and becomes more vocal in expressing his wishes — unless an underlying cause is imminent.
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.
Talk to your child’s pediatrician if your toddler has a tantrum of more than 15 minutes that is either violent or aggressive. This may be due to sensory processing concerns and must be addressed immediately.
Related article: Starting Preschool [How to Prepare your Toddler]
So what are the most effective ways to manage toddler tantrums?
To start, this book on how to talk to little kids so they will listen can help. This guide will empower parents like us to build up fulfilling and happy relationships with our little ones. Be sure to check it out!
Easier said than done. I know! But always try to keep your cool when handling your toddler’s outbursts. Take deep breaths and think happy thoughts. It works like a charm!
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.
Try grabbing their favorite book, asking them questions, or giving them a snack.
Sometimes distraction is all it takes to snap your toddler out of it.
Try to meet your toddler’s need
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 a meal.
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.
Acknowledge your toddler’s feelings
Make sure your child 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 hug or give them space if they need it.
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
Coping with toddler tantrums
Toddler tantrums are distressing for everyone involved. Remember to regulate your own emotions through controlled breathing to better equip yourself for dealing with any tantrums your toddler has.
Nothing about toddler tantrums will be easy for you or your child. You need to back up a bit and think this will soon pass. Just have to give it a little time!
Your little one’s emotions are out of your control, and this stage in life is only temporary. You are stronger than you think. You got this, mama!
Talk to you soon,
Do you have any tricks to handle toddler tantrums up your sleeve?
If you do, 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!