Ever wonder how your precious little one can be so happy in one moment, but so incredibly cranky the next? Tantrums are a daily part of life for every toddler, the 2 T’s go hand in hand! It can be quite unnerving and anguishing having to calm your little one down from temper tantrums, but these outbursts are just because of a child’s inability to cope with frustration. As a parent, you must understand that it is completely natural for them to put up such displays of emotion, such as anger or sadness. They are still unable to understand and handle being frustrated
The good news is, there are steps you can take to prevent some of these meltdowns and ways to deal with them more effectively when they do happen.
1. What causes tantrums
Tantrums don't happen because toddlers are willful and disobedient (or even troublesome)! They simply occur because your little one hasn't yet learned to accept frustration. When they want to do something but can't, they are overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness and dissatisfaction. The tantrum is simply a release of those feelings. It might even help to know that tantrums are common amongst toddlers, so remember, you aren’t alone. It's estimated that most 2-year-olds have a tantrum a minimum of once a week, which may last from 15 to 30 minutes!
2. Preventing Tantrums
Thankfully, there are certain steps you as a parent can take to help reduce tantrums. Here are some techniques that might help ward off your child's next tantrum:
- Limit your toddler's access to toys and activities that are fascinating but too difficult for his age.
- Watch for signs of fatigue and make sure your child has adequate rest.
- Look out for signs of overstimulation and when they occur switch your child to a calmer activity. This will help them cool down and relax.
- Try to keep "no's" and "don'ts" to a minimum. Instead of "no's" offer distractions and alternatives: Show them how to smell the flowers instead of picking them, for example. Children don’t like to be reminded that they aren’t allowed to do something.
3. Getting Through a Tantrum
- Tantrums will end sooner if you simply let them run their course. While it's going on, your toddler needs a sense of your calm control to feel safe. So, try to remember that the tantrum serves a purpose. It's a release of rage caused by feelings of frustration, not hostility.
- Sometimes a toddler needs to be left alone in a time out-but never out of sight, just for a short while. At other times it helps to simply to give your child a big warm hug. If a tantrum happens in public, it's a good idea to take your toddler to some quiet, relatively private spot until tempers cool.
4. Keep Your Cool
- One of the most difficult challenges is to keep calm in the face of a small child’s uncontrolled fury. But, it’s no surprise that an angry reaction from you is sure to make your child’s tantrum even worse.
- As your toddler comes out of the tantrum, offer reassurance and praise for regaining control. Try to forget the upset and look for cheering things to say. The more stable and positive you can be during and after tantrums, the easier it will be for your little one to control outbursts of temper as life goes on.