Both sudden and fierce, temper tantrum in toddlers is perhaps as malicious as an unexpected cyclone. As parents we cannot always be ready to accept such abrupt outbursts and finding out the reason is all the more challenging. It could that at moment she is all happy and cheerful fiddling with her soup in a restaurant and in the next moment you can find out that she is whimpering, sobbing and finally shouting while splashing the soup all over. You ought to feel both helpless and embarrassed and at the same time clueless about how to handle the situation.
Under such circumstances it is difficult to keep your cool but you need to understand that your child is not doing it manipulatively only to gain attention but it is a meltdown in response to frustration. In order to tantrums, you as a parent need to remember the following things:
7 Ways to Manage Tantrums in Toddlers
Remain Calm: Easier said than done! Right? Tantrums are never a pretty sight and it is natural that you tempt to lose temper too while your child is acting disorderly in a public place or even at home. But you need to keep in mind that your child is doing this because he/she is confused and scared and if you show signs of anger he/she will feel abandoned which will trigger more negative reactions. It is always a good idea to stay close to your child and let him/her calm down in your presence.
Don’t Give-In to Unreasonable Demands: Most of us in order to put an end to the tantrums tend to listen to the unreasonable demands made by our children. Accepting his/her demand to watch television at the middle of the night or making him/her sit with your smart-phone for an extra hour will not solve the cause as that is what not actually what your child wants. This will not only worsen the extent of tantrum but also at the same time your child will learn that just by throwing a fit, he/she can get whatever he/she wants from you. So it is better to avoid such things!
Sometimes Use Time-Outs: If your child is more than 2 years old then you can use occasional time-outs to help him/her get adjusted with his/her own self. Placing the child in a boring spot for a certain time (2-5 minutes normally) will help your child calm down. But do keep an eye on him/her while you are doing so and try not to get out from his/her sight as it will again trigger the insecurity and tantrum will aggravate.
Talk about it Later: It is important that you talk to your child about all the challenges you face together. Tucking every issue under the carpet will create more insecurity in your child. You need to discuss the tantrum in simple language and verbally accept the fact that you had understood that he/she was frustrated for some reason. By talking you not only gain confidence of your child but also at the same time by acknowledging his/her frustration you are enabling your child to communicate better when needed.
Let Your Child Know that You Love him/her: Perhaps very clichéd but nonetheless it helps to develop a strong bond between a parent and a child. Whenever you get a chance to talk about the tantrums make sure that you hug him/her and tell your child about your love and affection for him/her/. Rewarding good behaviour (including communicating properly with you) will help him/her relate to such incidents later when he/she gets frustrated and tend to show signs of tantrums.
Try to avoid Tantrum Creating Situations: You need to observe carefully the situations which lead to tantrums in your child. If he/she is feeling hungry while coming back from school, carry some food with you. If he/she is feeling sleepy early try to make him/her have an early dinner. Whatever it is, precaution is always better than cure and regular or daily tantrums are signs that you need to change something in your child’s routine.
Look-out for the signs of Overstress: Your child will not follow the same routine throughout his/her life and so for that reason you need to be wary. While daily tantrums are perfectly normal it is better not to stress yourself or your child by following the same routine. When exposed to stress your child is more likely to show tantrums and for that reason it is always important that you stay flexible and adapt according to your child’s changing needs.
No matter how much you prepare yourself, your child will show signs of frustration when you are least ready. There might be several things bothering you right at that moment. However, do remember that your child is the most important thing in your life-more important than the deadline at work and the issues you are dealing with back at home.