A temper tantrum is a child’s way of telling you that they are unhappy, hurt, or angry when they don’t have the words to tell you themselves. A toddler’s temper tantrum can happen due to being tired, hungry, or even wanting something that they cannot have. What is so important to remember is that your child isn’t doing this to embarrass or frustrate you, even though it may feel like it.
Dealing with Toddler Temper Tantrum
While we may not be able to predict when a tantrum will occur, we can definitely prepare for how to prevent or deal with a toddler temper tantrum with the following steps.
- Try and be as consistent as possible with routines for your children.
- Plan ahead. Try and run errands when you know your child won’t be hungry or tired and always carry a snack with you.
- Allow your child to make appropriate choices. “You have to wear shoes when we go outside. Would you like to wear your white shoes or your black shoes”?
- It is important to acknowledge their feelings. “I hear you are sad/mad/angry/upset”? Sometimes they just want reassurance that they are being heard.
- Offer extra acknowledgment in moments where they respond the way you want them to. Give them a hug and tell them how you love them and they are intelligent individuals and hence they know what to do. This will help them become independent in decision-making without being dependent on just praise.
- Try and remain calm when your child is having a temper tantrum since several times this happens to get attention from their parents or loved ones. You can try and distract them with a song or book they love. As a parent, you may want to ignore a toddler temper tantrum sometimes when it is only to get your attention. You can also let them know that “when they are screaming and crying” you cannot really understand what they are saying so you cannot give them the attention they deserve and need. You can tell them that you are choosing to wait until they have felt better and then you can discuss how to help them.
Children at this age are looking for control and independence over their life, usually more than they can handle. That is why everything for a toddler is “mine” or “I do it”. We cannot stop toddler tantrums, but we can try our best to prevent them. We need to help them make good choices while allowing them to feel that they made them by themselves.
At SimplySmart Childcare & Montessori we believe that there is always a way to help a child navigate their feelings and will often use toys to help them. We provide them with the language skills they need to walk us through what is causing their unhappiness. We know that when working alongside our families, we are able to help children navigate this new and exciting world.