There’s nothing quite like a full-fledged tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Legs kicking, arms flailing – it may feel like there’s no end in sight! Unfortunately, toddler tantrums are a part of childhood. Young children especially have a hard time communicating what they need. When you don’t understand their needs, they get frustrated and have a meltdown.
Poor parents are left in the middle of a power struggle that they may not have the tools to deal with. However, tantrums don’t have to take control of you. You can control emotional outbursts if you know the right steps.
You may not be able to put an end to tantrums altogether, but you can change the way that you react. Here are some of the best tips for responding to your child when they have a meltdown.
The most important thing that you can do is remember that you’re the adult in the relationship. Even though it can be hard to keep your emotions in check when someone is screaming and kicking uncontrollably, it’s in everyone’s interest that you do.
Allowing yourself to get flustered can even be dangerous. You could get into an accident, or react with physical violence which you will regret later. It’s beneficial to learn some basic deep breathing techniques to keep yourself calm during these moments.
Sometimes toddlers simply can’t be reasoned with. Your best bet may bo create a diversion from whatever they’re upset about. When the tantrum kicks in, try to find something to distract them. Luckily, toddlers don’t have very long attention spans, so use this to your advantage.
Get creative and find something to point out that may be of interest to them. You may get lucky and avert a tantrum altogether!
Recognize The Triggers
One of the best ways to avoid tantrums is to see them coming before they start. Try to recognize the triggers that commonly cause your child to get so angry. If sharing their toys is frequently a cause for a meltdown, try to anticipate it and act accordingly.
If they’re having a playdate, consider ways to reduce the tension about sharing.
You may decide to have a talk about sharing before their friend comes over, for example. Sometimes discussing the problem before it occurs can avoid a tantrum. Explain to them that if they don’t share their toys, the playdate will have to end. Depending on their age, they may or may not understand the consequences. However, don’t be afraid to try!
Give Them Space
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do or say to help your poor grumpy little one. In some cases, the only thing you can do is walk away and give them the space that they need.
You may find that letting them burn off steam for a few moments alone is just what they needed. They may even tire themselves out to the point of a nap!