It’s hard not to lose your cool when your little devil-of-a-toddler is throwing a fit. But remember, screaming and shouting will get you nowhere. In fact, it could only worsen matters! By flaring up, you’ll only be adding fuel to the fire.
Toddler tantrums are a natural part of childhood behavior. They are extremely common among children aged 18-36 months. And you can take solace in the fact, that every mum with a toddler experiences these nasty sessions of high decibel meltdowns and head banging.
Tantrums are nothing but an outburst of anger and frustration. And it often stems from the child not being able to express himself. Agreed, calming the child in such a situation can be a Herculean task. But if you learn to deal with the right way, it can be a breeze. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Stay calm: This can be easier said than done in the middle of a screaming session. But if you have tempers flying, the whole thing could escalate. Talking to the child in a soothing tone is one of the best tactics you could to help him simmer down. Experts say, staying relaxed works best for both the child and mommy. It shows your child that you’re not going to let his behavior get to you.
Hug and cuddle: Surely it could be the last thing on your mind but instead of lashing out at him, how about a warm bear hug? Try it and you’ll agree that nothing else works more magically than a tight hug and warm cuddle. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their behavior.
Find out the trigger: Toddlers have a limited vocabulary and hence their communication is restricted. Since they are unable to express themselves, they let off steam. Pay close attention to what sets off these outbursts. The reasons could be many – boredom, hunger, sleep, tiredness. Watch out for the pre-tantrum signs. If you notice that he’s beginning to get cranky, quickly intervene before he explodes.
Distract: You can stop an outburst from getting out of control by deftly distracting the child. Deflect his attention to something interesting. It could be a toy, a book or asking him to do an activity he enjoys. The trick is of course, to catch it at the right moment, and voila, you’ve succeed in diffusing a mini explosion.
Ignore: While mollycoddling can help a great deal, sometimes, ignoring the child’s behavior can help simmer emotions quickly. Try to walk away from the scene and allow your child to be alone till he has vented out his frustration. Once he’s cooled down, then you can talk.
Don’t give in: Giving in to your child’s demands may seem like the simplest solution. But on the contrary, it’s not! Be resilient, stay tought and whatever you do, don’t ever give in to his demands. This only sends out wrong signals as the child is likely to get crankier and there will be no end to the frequency of the tempers.
Don’t ignore your child’s tantrums. Remember this is a behavioural problem that manifests because of lack of language skills. Once your toddler picks up his language skills, you’ve crossed the hurdle on the tantrum stage.