3 Ways to Handle Toddler Tantrums
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We’ve heard it over and over again – parenting is not easy. There are days when you just have to get by, and then there are also days when you just don’t really know what you are doing. Although having kids is a great blessing, it can also drain you physically – especially if your kids are prone to toddler tantrums!
Not to worry. These fits and tantrums are all just a phase, and your toddlers will certainly grow out of it soon enough. But for the moment, you need to know how to handle these toddler tantrums the right way so that it would be less stressful for you and all the other adults (especially if you are in a public place). Knowing how to handle your child’s tantrums will also allow them to mature in a healthier way. So as a parent, how do you exactly handle these situations?
1. Ignore and let them vent the anger out.
You might have heard this tip already from friends and other family members, and it is best to actually listen to them! Ignoring your toddler’s tantrums will teach them that such a behaviour will not yield them anything. They will also realise that such behaviour is undesirable and is not rewarding. Sometimes, kids also need to just let their anger out – so let them!
When your child starts his/her tantrums, ignore them and leave them alone in their room for a few minutes. Check up on them after 3 to 5 minutes, and only interfere once they start throwing things, breaking toys, or hurting themselves or other kids in the room. You still need to make them understand that hurting themselves and others is not an acceptable behaviour.
This is easier to do when you are just at home, but what if you are in a public place? Boy, this is the nightmare of most parents – a child throwing tantrums in a park, restaurant, or any social gathering. In these cases, you cannot simply leave them in a room and ignore them. You actually have to separate yourself from the group or go out from the place you are in. This will also teach them that their behaviour is undesirable in front of other people.
Once you and your child are separated from the group or public place you are in, it is important to not yell at them. Do let them cry for a few minutes. It’s important that they also get to vent out their anger. After a few minutes, try talking to them softly. Don’t yell or start a shouting match, you need to speak softly or normally so that they will also listen and try to engage with you.
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2. Divert their attention to something else.
Kids easily get distracted. Whenever they see something colourful, intriguing, or just about anything that can spark their curiosity, they can certainly dabble on it for several hours or so. Diverting their attention to something interesting can help them forget about why they are throwing tantrums in the first place.
However, this can become a little bit tricky – especially in this digital age. Most parents use smartphones or tablets to divert the child and calm down their tantrums. And it’s pretty understandable – especially because apps and games can be very tantalising for kids. However, you also need to remember that too much screen time is not advisable for toddlers. You don’t want them to get used to gadgets – or else they might throw tantrums just to have more screen time.
A great way to divert your child’s attention (from a meltdown) is by bringing around toys, snacks, and small books with you. Stuff them in a small kiddie bag and try to give it one by one whenever your kid is about to throw a tantrum. Have colouring books, interesting gifts, and interactive toys with you always.
You can also distract them using your current location/environment. If you are at the park, try to point at dogs, birds, and other animals that happen to be at the park. If you are at the shops, try to get them involved with whatever you are shopping for. Engaging them in activities can also divert their senses and calm them down.
3. Finally, try to prevent any more toddler tantrums.
Preventing another round of toddler tantrums is better than constantly managing meltdown after meltdown. Experts say that the usual reason why toddlers throw a tantrum is when they are sleepy, hungry, or uncomfortable. So if you are at home, make sure they are well-fed and well-rested. Allow them to have some playtime and a little bit of TV-time (or gadget time). You don’t have to make them do just that all day, but kids will feel a little less irritated when they do get to have their fun and watch their favourite cartoons during the day.
Best of all, it is good to actually communicate with your kids about the situation. Once they are calm, you can talk about what happened (the tantrum), and make them understand why it is undesirable, and it will also help if you tell them how they should act the next time they are hungry, upset, or angry at some things. They may not understand or follow your tips right away, but little by little, they will start to change their ways.
Do you have any great tips for handling toddler tantrum’s? Let us know in the comments below!
Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more.
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