Learning to prevent and manage tantrums is essential, unless a parent doesn’t mind trying to function out in the world with the nagging fear that their child may completely flip out, without warning, for the enjoyment of innocent bystanders.
Here are some beneficial tips of managing toddler tantrums:
- Stay calm. Speak calmly and softly to your child. Yelling or threatening will only strengthen your child’s emotional storm. If you expect your child to learn to control their anger, start by managing your own.
- Remove them from the situation if they cannot calm down. This may mean leaving a full cart of groceries in aisle 8, but that is okay. If you are at home, move them to a room where they can be alone. Let them continue their tantrum somewhere safe, and ignore it. Sometimes, it is not possible to make a quick exit. If this is the case, try every method until you find one that works for you and your child.
- Recognize their frustration, and reflect it back to them. “ You are frustrated that you can’t have the toy you want today.” This can help diffuse their emotions.
- Ignore the flare up. This will work with some children, but do not use this method if your child is extremely sensitive or going through a difficult time on some level.
- Distraction works best with younger toddlers at the onset of a tantrum. Find one of their favorite things to divert their attention, or keep a surprise item with you when running errands.
- Some experts recommend holding a child tightly during a tantrum. This will work for some toddlers, particularly the more sensitive child.
- If you are at home, join them. Lay on the floor with them, kicking and screaming and turn it into a joke. Lighten up this very normal phase of childhood. Warning: some children will find this method even more infuriating, because you are stealing their spotlight!
Source: Dr. Anupam