Dealing with a toddler’s tantrum can be extremely frustrating. They call it the terrible twos for a reason! Even the best children can act up, and it’s important to know how to handle the situation when it happens. Here are some tips to help you when your toddler throws a tantrum.
1. Avoid matching their tone
When your child is throwing a tantrum, you may be tempted to scream yourself. Don’t let your child control the tone of the conversation! Speak softly and stay in control. Your soft voice may convince the child to lower their voice as well. It will also demonstrate that you have a sense of control over your voice and your temperament. Hopefully, this will rub off on your child. Alternatively, if you yell back at your child, they will learn that screaming is how to handle volatile situations. It will also become a cycle, and you will find yourself yelling with your child more often. This will only get worse with age, especially when they are teenagers.
2. Find a creative outlet for their anger
Your child may have anger or stress building up inside of them. Childhood can be rough for even the best cared for children. Make sure that your child has an outlet for aggression. Try art, sports, or music. This can even help your child learn what hobbies they enjoy.
3. Do not give in!
Whatever you do, do not give in to your child when they throw a tantrum. You do not want them to learn that throwing a tantrum will get them what they want. This means that they will continue to throw tantrums, and they cam get worse and worse. Maintain a strong stance on your position. No means no, and your child needs to learn that they will be told no on occasion.
4. Ignore the tantrum if possible
When your child throws a tantrum, you don’t want to reward it with too much attention. If possible, let the child throw their tantrum alone. Of course, you want to ensure their safety, but let them cry and scream by themselves. When they are done, you can come back and talk about the issue. To ensure that your child doesn’t throw a tantrum to get attention in the first place, give them plenty of quality attention when they are behaving well.
5. Punish violent behavior
Some children decide to kick and punch during tantrums. This is completely inappropriate, and the child needs to receive consequences for those actions. If they don’t get punished, this behavior may continue as they big bigger and stronger. You also don’t want them to use violence during confrontations with other people in the future. Take away privileges and continue to take away privileges until the behavior stops. Finally, stick to your guns after the tantrum is finished. If you go back on your punishment, the child will learn that you don’t mean what you say.
Every parent has to deal with a tantrum eventually. When you handle them properly, you can reduce the frequency and severity. This will teach you how to maintain an authoritative presence in front of your child for the future, and it will teach them how to handle conflict more effectively in the future. It’s a win-win for everybody!