Are you tired of terrorizing temper tantrums? We are referring to your children here, not your spouse, but even the tiniest toddler can create a terrific and turbulent scene. And even if you are a perfect parent, childhood meltdowns are simple facts of your young one’s life. Take a deep breath and relax, and use the following steps to handle your toddler’s temper tantrums without losing your cool.
Remember to remain calm. A frustrated and screaming child can definitely be contagious, but you need to keep calm, cool and collected to properly deal with the situation. Also remember that your child may not be trying to “get his way.” As you have probably noticed in the past, he could simply be tired or lacking attention, have a low blood sugar issue or some minor pain.
Give your child a choice that allows him to pick an outcome. Though little Billy may want a chocolate coated snack, it might be a little too close to dinnertime to allow that. Say, “Billy, I understand why you are getting upset. But the choice is yours, you can either calm down or you will have to go to your room (or in timeout).”
If he decides to calm down, compliment that choice. Remind him that he wanted a treat right before dinner, and that you said no. Verbally thank him for accepting no as the answer. And if he continues to act out, be firm and enforce the choice that he made, sending him to his room or putting him in timeout.
And remember, this process is much easier with a two-year-old than a six-year-old, so begin this learning process early on. Obviously, you need to try to determine the cause of the tantrum, and over time you may see patterns develop at particular times of the day. Remember to never reward the tantrum, or you are placing your toddler in control.
If your child is craving attention and throwing a fit, you can make long-term changes to avoid future outbursts. Remove your child to a crying room, to your car or even to a restroom and discuss the problem calmly. Tell them that you refuse to talk to them until he or she calms down, and discuss the situation with your child face to face once the terrible tantrum has ended.
As mentioned above, temper tantrums are a fact of life for a toddler, and some older children as well. Employing the above tips and strategies early on in your child’s life will develop your relationship hierarchy, and teach your child that you are in control. This will make it easier to deal with inevitable temper tantrums quickly and effectively when they inevitably occur.