Tantrums are never a good thing when it comes to having a kid, and most often they begin as toddler tantrums that just build into something worse as your children age. It always happens at the worst time and it is always hard to regain control. If you are tired of toddler tantrums or tantrums in any child and want to stop it in its tracks, there are some things you can do. However, no matter how many tips are mentioned, one of the best things you can do is get to know your own child and what causes them. Tantrums are brought on differently by each child, but keep these tips in mind when it comes to stopping them.
Toddler tantrums are just no fun – although there are days I'd like to throw one myself! When your child starts throwing tantrums, it's typically for one reason – they aren't able to express what they are feeling in a way that we understand & a meltdown ensues.
As they get older, tantrums can continue for many reasons. We've all seen that one child losing it in the grocery store over the candy (thank you grocery stores for putting those things right at eye level for little ones!) or gum in the checkout lane. Parents that give in to stop the tantrum are actually reinforcing that behavior by rewarding it. A two-year-old doesn't think “oh, I'll manipulate mom into buying this for me by screaming” but they do think along the lines of “I was upset and screamed last time. Mom bought what I wanted, so I'll do it again”.
We prevented that issue by leaving the store if it looked like toddler tantrums were building. I had to leave once from each grocery store with my oldest – apparently he thought the rules were different at Hy-Vee compared to Walmart. With my second, things were a little different because he's on the spectrum, but he still learned that yelling & screaming in the store resulted in us returning our cart to customer service with an apology and leaving without anything. When the twins were extremely little (under six months), one started to cry in the store and my oldest immediately started trying to calm him down. He “warned” him that we don't act like that in the store. Although I never enforced it for babies, he still remembered how to behave – even though it was over 2 years before that we had to leave the store early!
5 Ways to Stop Toddler Tantrums in their Tracks
- Talk Quietly – This Stops Them Every Time: I’ve done this with my kids and need to do it more. Instead of yelling at them, I try and talk very quietly, it makes them curious as to why you are talking so low and they have to get quiet to understand what you are saying. This takes some time to get used to, but is worth trying to stop toddler tantrums in their tracks.
- Keep Calm – Don’t Lose Your Cool: I think one of the biggest issues with tantrums in kids is how hard it is to deal with it as a parent. Kids all of the way up to teenagers have tantrums and they are never easy to deal with. One of my best pieces of advice is to just keep calm about it and don’t lose your cool. For some reason, this can help stop a tantrum in its tracks. When you are upset and yelling, you are just feeding the tantrum that your child is throwing.
- Prevention – Try to Prevent the Tantrum Before It Starts: Don’t we all wish we could figure this out? Well, you can if you try hard enough. Try to stop a tantrum before it even starts. If you see your child getting upset about something, try to divert them. Tantrums aren’t always a result of being in trouble, they are sometimes as a result of not getting their way or something going wrong. Figure out what is about to make them upset and prevent it.
- Try to Understand Why They’re Throwing a Tantrum: Some kids throw tantrums over and over again! If you have one of these kids, you have to get to the bottom of why they are throwing tantrums. It may take some time to figure it out, but it’s worth it.
- Master the Tantrum Causer: If you are a parent, then you know tantrums can be brought on by something your child is frustrated with. One way around this is to master the cause of the tantrum. Perhaps the tantrum is brought on by not being able to get dressed by themselves. Work on this and help them accomplish it and that will be one less reason they have to throw a tantrum.
As a parent, tantrums are hard, but they are a part of raising a child. One of the best things you can do is to love your child unconditionally and through the toddler tantrums and even the tantrums of a hormonal teenager. If you can’t figure out how to stop them, you need to find a way to deal with them emotionally as a parent.
What tips do you have for dealing with tantrums? I’d love to hear your comments below.