Few parents have made it through any child’s toddler stage without having to deal with a few tantrums. They are one of the most difficult things mothers and fathers have to deal with when their children are young. You can save yourself a lot of frustration by taking steps to avoid them as much as possible. And when they do occur, remaining calm can help you put them to an end much more quickly.
What Causes Tantrums?
The toddler stage is one that is full of transitions. There is a huge amount of physical and mental development going on. He has the desire to be independent, but he still needs help with some things. He also has a long way to go with his communication skills, and sometimes he will know what he wants but have trouble relaying that information. All of these things can lead to frustration, and that is the root cause of many a tantrum.
Some toddlers also use tantrums as a way to manipulate. If parents give in to these tantrums, they will almost certainly be followed by more of the same. So when dealing with tantrums that are designed to ensure that the child gets what he wants, it is important to stand your ground.
The best and most effective way to deal with tantrums is to avoid them in the first place. That may sound impossible, but it’s not. It will, however, require you to determine what factors make a tantrum most likely to happen.
When your child has tantrums, is he usually tired or hungry? Or does he react poorly to situations that leave him bored? These and other factors can put your child in a bad mood and trigger tantrums. Remedying these situations before taking your child anywhere can result in him being more agreeable, and in turn lessen the chances of a tantrum.
Dealing With Tantrums
A tantrum will almost certainly occur every now and then. If it does, the first thing you should do is remain calm. Getting upset or angry will only add fuel to the fire.
Addressing the child’s frustrations may put an end to the meltdown, or at least lessen its severity. If you don’t know what it is that your toddler wants, ask him to tell or show you. If you know what he wants but he can’t have it, explain that you are aware of his desires but can’t fulfill them. Don’t forget to tell him why.
Holding your child can sometimes help calm him down. Unless he is flailing his arms and legs wildly to the point that he is hurting you, holding him and comforting him with soothing words might improve the situation. But if this makes him more upset, it is defeating the purpose. In that case, letting him go and staying close by to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself might be a better course of action.
If you are in public when the tantrum starts, don’t panic. If you try to calm your toddler to no avail, take him somewhere quiet and as private as possible to cool off. When the tantrum is over, explain how you expect your child to behave before going back to your previous activity.
Tantrums are no fun for toddlers or their parents, but sometimes they happen. By remaining calm, you can avoid making the situation worse. Then you can use compassion to address your child’s frustrations and put them to rest.