Tantrums are a normal part of childhood. It is a way for toddlers to show they’re upset and frustrated and it can be because of a lot of things. Reasons can be range from boredom, hunger to discomfort, but most of the time this happens when they can’t get what they want. Learning how to prevent your child from making a fuss will take a lot of practice and even though you think you already know what to do, it’s still going to happen.
Parents can sense when their child is about to throw a tantrum, but they only have a split second to prepare themselves for what’s about to come. Moms and dads before your next trip to Tantrum City, make sure to read these tips and discover how you can manage toddler tantrum like a boss (and not lose your sh*t).
Show them empathy
When your child crosses their arms and starts to give you the mean look, you’ll know that it’s just about a matter of time before your child goes into a full-blown tantrum. Acknowledge their feelings and let them know that you are aware of their feelings. If you show them empathy, your child may open up and connect with you. Do not immediately dismiss or invalidate their emotions. Make sure to remain calm and use kind words and gestures at this point.
Disengage and do not give in
You can do this by trying to ignore the situation. Do not engage yourself in a shouting match with your toddler. You would just be adding fire to the flame if you reason out with them. And since they won’t understand what you are trying to tell them, save your explanation for later. Also, do not give in to the reason why they are throwing a fit just to make them stop. This will send the wrong message and they will use this tactic to get what they want in the future.
Remove them from the situation
Tantrums need an audience to become effective. And if your child is already causing a scene and disturbance to other people, try removing them from the location. Let them know that they may need privacy so they can deal with their emotions. It is important not to drag them because that may cause more resistance. Take a deep breath and ask them if they would like to be carried to the car or just walk beside you.
Stay firm and follow-through
Even if their outburst is already over, you still have to do what you told them that you are going to do. Continue walking back to your car and you should not be open to any type of negotiations. Sticking to your demands establishes that you are not giving in to what they want. And the next time this happens, they’ll know that you mean it. It may be difficult and frustrating to keep yourself together during this time, but you still have to use kind words and remain peaceful.
Don’t take your child’s tantrums personally
When your child has finally calmed down, you could go back to your interrupted activity and treat them as if nothing happened. Later when your child is in a better mood, talk to them about what happened. Allow them to express what caused their meltdown. It is important that you listen first and then ask questions. Discuss how you can avoid this in the future. Work on what they could say differently and how both of you could do better next time. Remember that your child may not completely get it right the next time, and the next time and another next time too. And if it happens once more, let them know that they can try again.