Tips for Taming Toddler Tantrums

Crying toddler in header image for Taming Toddler Tantrums
Crying toddler in header image for Taming Toddler Tantrums

GROWING UP IS HARD TO DO

Tantrums - when your sweet, baby angel turns into something from out of this world. How do you handle the BIG feelings and move back into a positive and happy space again?

We’ve got some tips to help you keep your sanity.

Diagnose & Prescribe

Is your little one whining or fake crying?
This could be the only way they can communicate something is bugging them, so diagnose what’s going on. How did they sleep, are they hungry, are they bored? What are they really trying to tell you?

Based on this information, the whiney whimper emitting from your child could just be boredom, so maybe prescribe a new activity. Give them a couple choices so they get a say, which also prevents your toddler responding with a big NO and triggering another tantrum. You’re ignoring the behaviour, but also giving the attention they need while redirecting.

Wait It Out

When your itty-bitty is louder than a banshee, kicking and screaming, full on melt-down mode, it can be difficult to talk to them. Your kiddo may get even more worked up when you prompt them to take some deep calming breaths.

Solution?
Instead of telling them, model the behaviour! Have a seat right in front of them, label the emotion and tell them you’re going to wait and take some deep breaths, explaining that it helps you to calm down. It’s actually helping YOU as a parent more than it is your child. It’s calming your nervous system so you stay calm and help them move into a positive head space.

You’ve got this!

Name the Feelings & Set Boundaries

You’re allowed to be angry, but you are NOT allowed to hit. Talking your child through what’s going on will help them figure out HOW they’re feeling, so go ahead and give them the tips on how to deal with situations in the future.

What do we mean by this?
Narrate, narrate, narrate.

Example: “I see you’re mad she took your toy, but you cannot hit your sister. Hitting hurts bodies”. By doing this, you’re showing you’re sensitive to their feelings but you’re also setting boundaries which helps them learn self-control and empathy.

Kids need boundaries, that’s how they learn and feel safe. We want to teach them how to behave in the world despite the feelings that can arise.

RAISE EM’ UP

Raising little humans is hard work. Should we say it again for the parents in the back?

RAISING LITTLE HUMANS IS HARD WORK!

Big BIG tantrums happen when your little isn’t sure how to handle the little things. Remember, you are allowed to say “no” to something knowing it will set them off. These little moments of disappointment teach your child that the world isn’t perfect, that you don’t always get what you want when you want it, and how to cope in these moments.

Be consistent because these skills take time to develop. Keep it up because you’re doing the right thing! And don’t forget to take care of yourself too! If you can’t take care of yourself how the heck are you gonna take care of somebody else - yes, that is a Ru Paul reference.


*This information was taken from episodes 7 + 8 of the 40 Weeks to Forever Podcast.
Episode 7: Parenting- the Good, the Bad, & Taming Toddler Tantrums
Guest: Michelle Tangman LMFT BCBA
Episode 8: Attachment- Bond, Boundaries, & Bringing up Baby
Guest: Dr. Tanya Cotler PhD

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