One of the inevitable parts of having children is dealing with toddler tantrums.
It happens to every toddler and probably will until the end of time. While I am pretty sure it is near impossible to avoid tantrums all together there are ways to help you deal with them more effectively.
I know this is the most basic advice ever, but sometimes it can be one of the most difficult to follow through on. Stay calm.
Kids feed off of your energy and if they sense that you are worked up, it will cause them to become more worked up.
Take a deep breath and then decide what is the best way to handle it.
When we are at home and my daughter starts to throw a tantrum I make sure that she isn’t at risk of hurting herself and I walk away.
Most of the time when I am near her it makes her tantrum ten times worse. When I walk away it takes a maximum of 3 minutes for her to calm down.
Once she is calm I’ll walk back into the room, hug her, and talk to her about what just happened.
Change in Diet
My family thought I was being insane when I started insisting that our daughter doesn’t eat too much processed sugar. I am pretty sure that every one thought I was just being a strict “crunchy” mom or something, but once they saw the difference for their own eyes they believed me!
I like to think that we are a really well balanced family. Meaning that at home we eat pretty healthy, but we also reward ourselves with foods that we love. I also try my hardest to do this with my daughter because processed sugar has a HUGE effect on her behavior.
Try it out for a couple of days or a week if you are really wanting to see the difference. It made a huge difference for us and our household is a few tantrums less than we used to be.
This was really hard for us to nail down. Especially when our daughter was younger and her nap schedule was transitioning so much from 2 naps per day to 1 and all that, but now we have a pretty good routine.
Around 2 1/2 our daughter decided that she didn’t like naps anymore and I was tired of fighting her on it so I gave up on laying her down during the day. It was fine for daytime, but by the time 4:00 pm hit she was a terror. Anything you said to her would result in a tantrum.
It was obvious to us that she was tired so I committed to developing a solid naptime routine no matter how much she fought me on it. It is still hard some days, but 9/10 days she naps and it has made a huge difference in her attitude!
We also keep a solid bedtime routine and she is in bed by 8 pm every night. She actually is so used to our bedtime routine now that she will tell us that she is ready to go to bed!
When our toddler does have a tantrum we wait until it is over and talk to her calmly about what the problem is. This is so hard to do in public, but I have found that if I engage with her while she is in the middle of the tantrum it only makes things worse.
Typically, after she is done throwing a fit she is able to tell me what the issue is and then I can teach her why throwing a tantrum isn’t the way to get what she wants.
Then I have her repeat what it is she is upset about in a nice way. So if she wants a snack I’ll have her repeat “Mommy, can I please have a snack” even if I am going to say no. If it is a no, I explain why and what we can do instead.
An example would be “No, you cannot have a snack right now, but if you are good you can have one after dinner”.
A combination of all of these tips is how we deal with toddler tantrums, but it does not eliminate them. I think that the best advice is to just try out different things and see what works for your kids. The way my toddler responds to me may not be the same for your toddler and that is okay! Just keep looking for different ways to help them and then stay consistent with it.