Trying to calm a toddler in the midst of a huge tantrum can be a nightmare. Read on...
We all feel for a parent when they are trying to calm a toddler in the midst of a huge tantrum.
Of course you get the odd person who 'tut tuts' by blaming the parents for their tots behaviour. Truthfully though all toddlers have tantrums especially around their parents and often less so when being minded by other family members. For whatever reason they just love riling up Mum and Dad and getting them literally sweating!
In defence of these loopy toddlers they are at the ages of between 1 and 4 years old and are not able to cope with certain situations like an older child. They are learning to communicate and don’t necessarily have the language skills to tell you what is bothering them. This leads to a very frustrated youngster and that is when they let loose and cause havoc. It becomes a power struggle between parent and toddler and they want what they want ... or else!
With a few tips the whole tantrum process can be made easier but I don’t have a remedy to stop them altogether (sorry)! Have a read of these and see if any of these might work for your parenting style:
- If you're a home when the tantrum strikes, take a time out and put them into their room where they are safe so that they calm down. Try to ignore the shouting and screaming and let it all fizzle out. Once you both have had a little space you can resume usual activities.
- Try and divert their attention elsewhere, for instance if you are in a shop and your tot won’t let a toy go ask where the toilet roll is or where you get the apples. Being the helpful little munchkins that they are they will want to help you, and if you get them before they hit high pitch, tantrum diverted. Phew!
- If they are having a meltdown but you aren’t sure why rather than hushing them try asking how can you help and what do they need. Some toddlers can’t relay their needs so take the time to realise the problem and go from there.
- Pick up their little bodies and pull them into a big hug, ok they might be wriggling like a worm but a hug might just soothe them and cool things down. Offer them a drink or a snack and have a sit down together on the sofa, let them know they can’t freak out like that but you love them all the same.
- Give them a reason to behave well, so if you need to do the shopping quickly tell them you are doing the shopping and if they behave well you they will get a reward (do this before you leave the house though!) Make sure they understand that you need to do the boring stuff (shopping) to get to the fun stuff (maybe it's a little treat or a trip to the park). If they don’t behave appropriately there will be no fun time at the end, be clear about it.
- Always try to stay relaxed and calm in their mini meltdowns as shouting back will not help either of you. Remain in control and do not feel bullied into doing what they want now as complying will only lead to more trouble down the line, and while they may be easily picked up now in the years to come they won’t be. Let the good habits start here and now.
Overall this messy stage will pass and while tantrums are a nuisance toddlers are great fun most of the time. Certainly get them into a good routine now and make sure they understand good behaviour dictates how they spend their day and good behaviour is rewarded duly.
Best of luck and be strong, you can do it! x