Toddler Tantrums

Toddler Tantrums (A Parent’s Guide to Temper Tantrums)

The parents guide on how to deal with toddler tantrums effectively.

Wondering how to deal with your toddler’s tantrums? Then stick around till the end of this post. I will be sharing tips and strategies on how to deal with toddler tantrums effectively, positive parenting tips to handle toddler tantrums, and how to prevent them.

It happens to every toddler parent: you are in the supermarket, your child is doing something that is not allowed and is angered when you correct them. 

Complete with screams and stamping feet. Your toddler has a tantrum. How do you deal with it and how do you stay positive? And what can you do to prevent tantrums in your toddler?

Many toddlers regularly have a tantrum. Tantrums are part of normal development. This is because a toddler’s brain is not yet sufficiently developed to be able to control itself. 

Certainly not if they are upset. Toddlers also discover that they have their own opinion, toddlerhood. So it is part of it, but that does not alter the change that these tantrums can be very frustrating and tiring.

There are ways to prevent tantrums as much as possible. Many tantrums are caused by a feeling of powerlessness.

Your toddler has no control, because he or she must, for example, be an adult or not allowed. 

If your toddler feels like he or she has some control over his life, he will be less affected by tantrums.

When toddlers are tired and hungry, they have no energy at all to deal with their frustration. Make sure to avoid tantrums, because prevention is better (well, especially finer) than cure.

A parents guide to Toddler Tantrums

What is a toddler tantrum?

The experience of your child changes enormously after his first birthday. Suddenly he no longer cries just because he wants to eat or has a dirty diaper, but also explodes into tears when he doesn’t get what he wants.

That frustration can turn into a tantrum: a violent, uncontrolled outburst of anger that usually lasts briefly, but sometimes lasts for a few hours. Toddler Tantrums occur between the ages of one and a half and four years. 

No ‘ordinary’ anger

You can recognize a tantrum from disproportionate behavior. Your toddler will not just frown in a corner but will start crying or screaming extremely loud.

Stamping feet, hitting, biting, scratching, and destroying things are also characteristics of a tantrum. Some children hold their breath.  That can go so far that they turn blue or even become unconscious.

Why does a toddler get tantrums?

Why does a toddler get tantrums

Don’t be alarmed if your child has a tantrum. This is quite normal, it is part of his emotional development. Toddlers and preschoolers are discovering the world. 

They are constantly pushing their boundaries, discovering their own selves with a will of their own, and wanting to do more and more themselves. 

If something fails, they get frustrated. At other times, they become anxious or sad.

Your toddler’s brain is not yet sufficiently developed to handle these kinds of big emotions. His vocabulary and speech ability also fall short. 

Your child cannot yet give words to his feelings, which is why he gets angry. So your child is no different or more aggressive than other children. 

One child tantrums more often than the other child. This may have something to do with character: one can deal with disappointment better than the other and some children are simply temperamental in nature. 

There are also certain ‘triggers’ that trigger tantrums. Stress, fatigue, hunger, and anxiety can make your toddler react more extreme than usual.

How to deal with toddler tantrums

How to deal with toddler tantrums

It is understandable and even logical that as a parent you react irritably to an angry child. Yet this often does not benefit the situation: your toddler does not feel taken seriously and then becomes even angrier.

A toddler needs to feel upset and helpless from time to time without his parents judging it. That experience is important for his sense of security. It may happen. 

As difficult as it is, don’t get angry and ignore his temper (and other people’s critical eyes).

An alternative is to name his feeling, he then feels understood. Try out what works best for your child and stick to this approach.

How to Prevent toddler tantrums

How to Prevent toddler tantrums

Your toddler has a tantrum because he feels powerless. He has no control over a situation and does not know how to express himself. 

If he knows better where he stands, he is less likely to get angry. So you can do a lot yourself to prevent a tantrum:

1- Provide as much rest and regularity as possible. 

Make the days more or less the same. For example, go for something fun in the morning and stay home in the afternoon.

2- Keep regular eating and bedtimes. 

Plan your activities around this and make sure your toddler doesn’t get too many stimuli. Go shopping when he is well-rested and has eaten. Walking through the supermarket with a tired and hungry child is not a good idea.

3- Try to limit your own ‘say no’. 

In other words, pick your battles. When it is safe, give your child the space to do things themselves or present them with choices if they do not want to do something: 

“You can choose, do we put on your shoes first or your coat first?” Your sleeper then gets the feeling that you are also in control.

4- Don’t over-question your child. 

Ask yourself if your expectations are not too high. For example, it is still very difficult for a toddler to sit quietly on a chair for an entire meal.

Positive parenting tips for toddlers tantrums

Of course, it is not always possible to be ahead of a tantrum. When your toddler does ignite in anger, it is best to do the following:

1- Stay calm yourself. 

Do not get carried away in the battle, but look at the situation objectively. Your toddler is not doing this to bully you. He can’t help but react like that.

READ ALSO: How to Control Anger with Kids and Be a Calm Mom

2- Avoid discussion. 

Do not argue or negotiate, it makes no sense at such a time. Your little one is not capable of a moment.

3- Have patience. 

Wait for the worst anger to pass, then ask why he got so angry or explain why something is not allowed.

4- Be consistent. 

If your toddler has a tantrum because he cannot eat candy, it is not useful to give a candy afterward. Then your child learns that he can do something with negative behavior.

5- Follow clear rules. 

Distinguish between behavior and feeling. It’s okay for your toddler to be angry, but he shouldn’t hit or kick.

6- Make it right. 

Give positive attention when the tantrum is over. Hug your child and never return to his tantrum. Distract him with a toy or do something fun together.

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Toddler tantrums - A parents guide to temper tantrums

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