Dealing With Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrums

| May 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

145239526If you have a two- or three-year-old, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with a temper tantrum. They begin at some point during a baby’s second year, and, depending on the child, can continue occurring until he is three or four, or even older. Usually tantrums are self-limiting and just taper off on their own after a few minutes. If your toddler hasn’t started throwing tantrums yet, if you’re currently going through this phase, or if you’re a grandparent who could use a refresher on how to deal with a temper tantrum, here are some tips:

  • Don’t take your toddler’s tantrum personally. He is screaming and kicking to vent his frustration; it has nothing to do with your parenting skills at all! All children go through this phase. Ignore any wayward glances that you get while out in public with your screeching child; anyone who is a parent has gone through this, and anyone who isn’t might not understand that it’s completely normal. In order to deal with the tantrum, you’ll need to keep your cool, so remember that it’s nothing personal and that your little one is simply expressing himself in the only way he knows how at this point. With time, he’ll find better ways to express his frustration.

  • Try to find that ounce of prevention. No parent can prevent every tantrum, but you might be able to stop a few of them before they even begin. Try not to run errands when it’s naptime or snacktime, for example. You know how much easier it is to feel frustrated when you’re overtired or ravenous; imagine how much harder it is for your toddler to keep her emotions in check when she’s physically uncomfortable. You can also encourage her to “use her words” when you can see that she’s getting upset, or by distracting her if possible. Avoid tantrum-producing situations whenever possible. For example, choose a checkout line without candy if you can, if seeing the tantalizing displays often sparks a litany of the gimmes and a tantrum when you say no.

  • Know when to walk away. Sometimes kids simply need to scream and yell for a minute or two. If you offer your child assistance and he refuses, and also won’t be distracted despite your best efforts, it might be best to remove yourself as audience. This won’t work if you’re out in public, of course, but if the tantrum happens at home, simply say, “I’ll be in the kitchen when you’re done,” and leave the room. In many cases, he will cry for a minute or two, then come to find you. At that time, you can offer a snack or a hug, and go about your day without mentioning his meltdown.

  • Don’t give in if she’s throwing a fit about wanting something. It might be easier in the short term to give in and buy her that stuffed animal or hand her another cookie, but this will absolutely make things harder in the long run! Let your no be no, and deal with the tantrum without giving in to whining and screaming. Otherwise, she will quickly learn that pitching a fit is an effective way to get what she wants.

  • Know when to seek help. If your child his hurting himself during the course of his tantrums or if they persist past the age of four, check with his pediatrician to rule out behavioral problems, speech issues or other disorders. In many cases, even extreme tantrums will fizzle out over time, but if he needs special help, it’s best that he get it as soon as possible.


What are some of your best tips for dealing with temper tantrums?

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