Toddler tantrums are an inevitable part of the parenting process. However, a little patience and understanding can go a long way to helping you and your kids navigate these moments more effectively. Here are three tips for better dealing with toddler tantrums.
In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to become flustered and respond with stress to a toddler tantrum. This will likely make your toddler even more upset however and in the long term, it could impart some unwanted lessons to your child. Instead, try and take some deep breaths before actively responding to a tantrum. Speak in a calm, soothing tone to try and de-escalate the situation, without giving in to your toddler’s demands. If it is a case of a lack of understanding, it may help to ask your toddler what it is that is upsetting them and to work together in your communication.
Toddlers benefit from consistent routines and predictability, and for many young children, knowing what to expect provides security and comfort. It will help to clearly communicate your expectations and consequences of different behaviors with your toddler and with your partner so that you are all on the same page. This way, your child begins to understand the consequences of having a tantrum, which will hopefully reduce their likelihood.
Distract and Redirect Them
One of the great things about toddlers is that they are easily distracted. Sometimes, all it takes to avoid a tantrum is to shift their attention to something new. This could be an object, a song, or a new environment. Be sure to not just give the toddler what they want in your attempts to distract them as this will reinforce bad habits. However, if done right, distracting your child from a tantrum can encourage your toddler to learn emotional regulation and develop their maturity.