You probably are not doing at least one of these tips with your toddler and it could be resulting in your toddler having huge and very frequent tantrums.
The terrible twos are a normal developmental stage for young children but it’s often a very difficult phase for many parents to get through since the terrible twos can start around 18 months old and last until the age of 4.
During this phase, toddlers are undergoing some massive developmental changes such as walking, running, jumping, stacking blocks and so much more. When toddlers are trying to do something that is challenging their abilities such as talking or sharing a favorite toy. They are unable to communicate what they are feeling with words so they do it in their actions. Young children struggle to be able to express their needs and wants which is very frustrating and can lead to outbursts and tantrums.
You can successfully stop your toddler’s terrible two tantrums by following these 10 tips outlined in this article.
1.Meet Their Needs
Children between 18 months old to 2 years old don’t have an advanced enough vocabulary to explain what is bothering them. Even children ages 3-4 years old are still learning how to express with words what they are feeling or thinking. When children can’t express their thoughts, feelings, needs, or wishes this leads to a child throwing a tantrum.
Imagine that your toddler has an attention bucket and a control bucket. When these buckets get low it causes toddlers to throw tantrums as a way to refill their buckets. You want to fill your toddler’s buckets with as much positive attention and age-appropriate control every day so their buckets stay full longer and the frequency of the tantrums decreases.
When parents can discover the need that is not getting met such as the need for independence, attention, or control. Parents are more likely able to solve the problem and meet their child’s needs before it escalates into a huge tantrum. If your toddlers’ need for attention is not getting met they may act out as a way to get your attention. If this is the case with your toddler. Try to calmly address your toddler, offer a hug or kiss, and set a timer so that when the timer goes off your toddler will know that you will be able to give them your full time and attention.
2. Don’t Give In To The Tantrum
Giving in to a tantrum may stop it temporarily which leads many parents to continue to give in to a tantrum believing that is this solving the tantrum. The truth is that giving in to your child’s tantrums only causes them to throw tantrums more often since in the past they have gotten what they want by throwing a tantrum.
Parents who give in to their toddlers’ tantrums may find themselves trapped in the negative attention cycle. This cycle is when a toddler does something to get what they want or their parent’s attention such as throwing a tantrum. The parent gives what their toddler wants because it stopped the tantrum before. Then when the toddler wants something again what do they do? Right they throw a tantrum!
Soon the toddler learns that throwing a tantrum is a pretty good way to get what they want from their parents. So they continue to do this over and over leaving parents trapped in this negative attention cycle.
If you find yourself stuck in this negative attention cycle there is a way out! What you can do instead is by breaking the pattern and avoid giving in to the demands of your toddler by taking a deep breath, responding calmly, and standing firm on the limit.
3. Give Warnings
Nothing is more frustrating to a parent when they have somewhere to be and their toddler throws a huge tantrum. It is normal for children to get very involved in their world or the activity they are participating in that they need some help to break away from what they are doing. It can be very frustrating to a child when they are demanded to stop doing what they are doing, therefore, resulting in a tantrum.
The best way to prevent a tantrum from occurring before you have to be someone is to plan ahead. Physically go to where your toddler is at, get down to their level, and explain using simple phrases what is going to happen in 10 minutes from now. As time goes on give your toddler a 5 minutes, 3 minutes, and 1-minute warning before you have to leave.
This allows children to start mentally preparing themselves to stop what they are doing so that when it is time to leave they don’t throw a tantrum and you can leave on time!
4. Honor Naps
Many children until the age of 2.5 to 3 years old need at least 1 nap a day. When children miss their nap it can make children very irritable and emotional which tends to lead to more frequent tantrums.
Parents can reduce tantrums when they can plan activities or outings around their child’s nap time.
However, If you are not able to have your toddler take a nap at home. Make sure to bring some items that they normally sleep with such as a white noise machine, blanket, and favorite stuffed animal to help make them more comfortable if they need to take a nap in an unfamiliar place.
5. Say “yes” More Often
Children just like adults do not like being told “no” all day long. Constantly telling a child “No” is going to create more tantrums. Start by paying attention to how often you tell your child no and then try to find ways to say yes more often.
Let’s say that your toddler asked for a popsicle in the morning but the rule is that they can have a popsicle after lunch. Instead of saying “no” you may say “Yes, you may have a popsicle after you finish your lunch.” This way you are not directly telling your toddler No you are saying Yes while still honoring the rules.
Plus it is way more fun to say “YES rather than NO!
6. Give Away A Small Amount Of Control
We all like being in control of certain aspects of our lives. Children are no different. Children often throw tantrums as a way to gain some sort of control. Parents can significantly decrease how often their toddlers throw tantrums by allowing their children to have some control in their life.
This can be accomplished by offering 2 choices that you are okay with so no matter which of the two choices your toddler chooses you are both happy and satisfied.
This may look like this. Do you want to put on your right shoe first or your left shoes, do you want me to brush your teeth or do you want to, do you want the blue cup or the green cup, do you want to play with cars or with blocks?
Doing this will allow your toddler to have some control and independence in their lives that they don’t try to gain control by throwing a tantrum.
7. Praise Good Behavior
When children are praised for their good behavior it tends to lead children to continue doing the good behavior. No one likes feeling like they are always in trouble or are doing something bad, so start putting extra effort into noticing the good things your toddler does.
This can easily be accomplished by getting down to your child’s level, look them in the eyes and say “Thank You” when your toddler puts away their toys when you ask! Giving a child a sincere appreciation can boost their confidence, self-esteem, and sense of self-worth.
Look for the good that your toddler does and make sure their efforts don’t go unnoticed.
8. Let The Tantrum Work Itself Out
Since toddlers and other young age children don’t quite have the vocabulary to express themselves they tend to express their feelings by throwing a tantrum. As tempting as it may be to stop the tantrum. STOP and allow the tantrum to work itself out.
You may calmly move your child to a quieter place but still allow the tantrum to flush out of their system. Parents may find that when they let the terrible two tantrums work themselves out that their toddler will be calmer and more cooperative.
9. Help Them Work Through Their Emotions
Toddlers are not capable of working through their emotions by themselves therefore they need the help, patience, and understanding of their parents to help them. One of the best ways parents can help them work through their emotions is by doing these 5 steps
2.Recognize what sparked the tantrum (My toddler is mad because she wanted to wear her Elsa dress to the park)
3.Use short phrases to put their feelings into words ( you are mad mad mad because you want to wear your Elsa dress to the park.)
4.Use A compassionate tone of voice
10. Remain Calm
Toddler tantrums can be super triggering to a parent which can cause the parent to yell, spank or put their toddler in time out. If you have done these things as a parent you are not a bad parent! Learning how to be a positive parent takes daily consistent practice and it’s okay if you have slip-ups every now and then.
When parents can learn how to have enough self-control to remain calm during their toddlers’ tantrums they will find it much easier to address their toddlers with empathy, patience, and love.
The best way that parents can help them remain calm during their toddler’s tantrum is to take a deep breath before responding to their toddler. When parents react to their emotions towards their toddler’s tantrums it can lead to their toddler
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