Toddlers are known to struggle with attachment issues and expressing themselves when it comes to 'big' emotions, which usually results in a tantrum. Most of the time, they will outgrow this, but how do you handle tantrums from your child effectively? Here are handy tips to get you started.
Understand why tantrums happen
Tantrums usually happen among children between 1 - 3 years old when their emotional skills are still at a developing stage. The reason why they tend to be explosive is that they have not learned how to express the big emotions that they feel, which can lead to frustration and their eventual breakdown. Being aware of what triggers your child to have tantrums can make the process smoother when it comes to handling them.
What are some of the things that can trigger tantrums?
Every child differs when it comes to tantrums. In some cases, they might have a medical condition, or it may be simple things such as:
Overwhelming emotions such as worry, fear, anger and shame can also result in a toddler throwing a tantrum. Observing how your child behaves around other children before they have their breakdown is also another way in which you can figure out what triggers them.
How can you handle a toddler that’s having a tantrum?
Things can escalate very quickly when you and your child are both frustrated. It is better to keep your cool or pretend to keep your cool to defuse the situation. Ways in which you can do this is to:
Reduce any chance of stress. Keeping in tune with your child’s behaviour and triggers can be a good way to see when the tantrum is about to begin. If you notice that their tantrums tend to occur when you go shopping, it could be that they are tired, hungry or overstimulated. You can plan ahead by eating at home before you leave or taking snacks with you.
Talk them through it. Take them to a quiet place if possible and talk them through what they are feeling and why in order to help them learn to deal with difficult feelings.
Wait out the tantrum. Sometimes our immediate response is to try to find ways to keep them quiet, but waiting out the tantrum is equally effective. Wait out the tantrum by staying close to your child so that they are aware of your presence. Once they have calmed down talk them through it.
Knowing when to put your foot down when it is needed is also something that needs to be practiced with caution. Always remember to assess every situation in a consistent and calm approach. If possible, find a way to get them to do what you need them to do by offering an option that results in everyone winning.