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This photo was taken as my toddler was in a middle of a tantrum as we were out in public at a school play. As you see my legs sitting there minding my own buisness, not paying attention to his bad behavior.
Being a parent to a toddler can sometimes be very overwhelming especially during one of their temper tantrums. I have provided several personal approaches to go about dealing with a toddler when they are in the middle of a temper tantrum. Since every child is different, their reaction will be different… Take for instance my toddler, he is currently in the stage where he kicks, screams, tells me no and runs away and even hits himself. My hubby and I were torn on how to go about this situation being that we are new to this (we are first time parents) but what we found that benefits the situation are a couple of techniques listed below. Now keep in mind, these techniques will not all the time work; it all depends on the child which will at times take awhile to get calmed down so be patient. Like I said, every child is different and will act differently during their tantrums. My toddler basically throws his tantrums when he does not get what he wants but again, every child is different. Also keep in mind that if the child is in harm of himself or others during the tantrums do your best to keep the toddler in a safe environment until they are calmed down. If it is to the point where you are concerned about the tantrum and the toddler being in danger, contact your doctor right away. Furthermore, do not feel embarrassed if you are in public, it happens to almost every toddler, I am sure most parents who witness the tantrum has dealt with it sometime too and can relate.
Always approach your toddler in a calm manner during a tantrum. Talk to your toddler with a gentle tone. Showing frustration or any other negative approach will most likely worsen the situation.
Comfort your toddler. During the tantrum, hug your toddler and tell the toddler you love them and all will be ok.
Try to change the mood and situation by distracting your toddler with another topic or play.
You can also try and walk away from the toddler to show that you are not giving them attention for their “bad” behavior at that moment. But make sure your child is not in harm and is safe by keeping your eyes on the toddler at all times yet keep yourself busy so they do not think you are giving them any attention to that type of behavior.
Try to talk with your toddler about their feelings and emotions. Help them understand how they are feeling at the moment by helping them express how they feeling. For example: I am mad because…, I am upset because…, I am crying because…, I am etc.… Explain the situation to your toddler the best that you can.
Don’t give in to your toddler just because your toddler is throwing the tantrum. Yes, it can become easily frustrating but by you giving in, it’s showing that you are not handling the situation in a proper manner which causes the child to throw the tantrum again because you gave into such negative behavior.
You can also try to use the time-out method during the tantrum. I used to use my bottom step as a time-out when my toddler acted up. Since he became so used to it, I had to start doing time-out in his bedroom. I typically explain to him the reason he is in time-out and has to sit in his bed until I say so. I walk out and close the door behind me. This causes him to to calm down more quickly and not wanting to be by himself.
If your toddler is trying to get your attention during the tantrum, explain to them that they first need to calm down and you will attend to them when they are not as upset.
Another important technique I used that helped out well was breathing exercises. I taught my toddler how to take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. I would practice the breathing exercises right along with him. I noticed this worked well with my toddler in his younger toddler years.
After a tantrum, no matter what, always explain to the toddler in a calm, loving voice that the behavior was not necessary and was not good behavior. Reassure your toddler that you still love them and give some loving by hugs and kisses.
Like I stated above, every child is different so not all of these techniques will work. However, you being the parent, you determine what is best for your child in any given situation. These techniques I listed are ones I used on my toddler that worked out through different stages of his toddler tantrum years. Some work at times and other times they do not. Best of luck with parenting during tantrums!
Photo taken by Dianne Furphy in Port Saint Lucie, FL.
~Believe in yourself and you can create what you want.
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