So.. you officially have a toddler…
Every parent has heard the phrase “terrible two” to refer to the point in your child’s life where they stop becoming a fun and happy baby and turn into an opinionated, easily frustrated, and seemingly always cranky toddler. And you know what that means… temper tantrums.
While this isn’t true for every child, this is a major milestone. Your child is starting to find their independence and search for the limits of what they are allowed and not allowed to do. It is a perfectly normal stage and actually one that shows your child is developing normally.
But that doesn’t mean it is not a difficult one to manage. Here are our tips to help you deal with your toddler’s temper tantrums.
Let them work it out before offering new solutions
One of the most difficult things to do as a parent is let your child cry. However, in the toddler stage, this is very important. At this age, your child is trying to find control and when they don’t find it, they often times will break down and become frustrated. It’s important for them to be able to work through the problem and relax before continuing forward.
Now, we aren’t saying that you should ignore your child. Offer plenty of comfort and love as they work through their tantrum. Be the calming force that your child needs in these situations. Once they calm down, offer solutions to their problem. It is going to take patience and practice, but eventually, you will find the best ways to help your child.
Offer options for a feeling of control
An age-old trick to dealing with a cranky toddler is giving them options. This gives the child a feeling of control and makes them think they are making the decisions.
A good example of this might be if you are trying to get your child dressed in the morning and they don’t want to put on a shirt. Instead of telling them what shirt they are wearing, offer them 2 options and let them pick.
You as the parent still get to control the options, but the child also gets their choice. This is a great way to stop a lot of tantrums before they start because the child is involved in the decision-making process.
Give them time to decompress
It is no secret that children’s brains are little sponges that are absorbing everything in the world around them. While it is a great thing that they are learning so much, it does also mean that they can get overwhelmed through information overload.
We often see it in situations where there are a lot of people around or a lot of new things happening when a child might break down.
Giving your child breaks and time to relax in these situations can make a major difference in their attitude throughout the day. Whether it is separating them for a little while to be alone, reading a book in a quiet room, or moving them to another area for a snack, giving them a decompression time will help keep your child happier!
Talk to them about it afterward
A step that many parents miss is talking to their child about their tantrum after it happens. This is important to do because it allows the child to reflect on what happened and lets you identify triggers for the future. You can ask them questions like:
- What was it that upset you?
- Why did that make you upset?
- What was a better solution to solving that problem than having a tantrum?
- How can we make sure that it doesn’t happen again?
Asking these questions will give you some interesting insight into your child’s personality and will help you better manage their emotions and understand their little developing personalities.
Like many other things, the temper tantrum stage will pass. It is important for you as a parent to remain calm for your child and help them work through their newfound emotions. Better management of this stage can lead to a child that knows how to handle their emotions and be able to work through them better as an adult!