Once your toddler starts showing signs of kicking off into tantrum mode, you might feel powerless to stop it. Think again! There are plenty of ways to halt your toddler’s bad behavior. Start with these today.
- Distract, distract, distract. Distraction is your number one weapon against tantrums. Make sure you have a favorite toy on hand at all times to quickly hand to your toddler if they start to fuss. This isn’t bribery – it’s self-preservation.
- Don’t panic. If you start to become frazzled and shrill, your toddler will respond to your change in tone by escalating their freak-out. Stay calm and be a positive role model.
- Have a go-to tantrum spot. Designate a particular room or area of your home to take your toddler to when they start to have a meltdown. Confidently move your child to this spot every time, and calmly remind them that they will have to stay there until they calm down. Sit with them until they feel settled again.
- Don’t give in. If the tantrum is over a candy bar in a store that your toddler is desperate to get their hands on, try not to give in to the urge to buy the candy to quiet them down. This will reinforce the tantrums and lead to more in the future.
- Try to talk. Toddlers have tantrums because they’re struggling to express something that is frustrating or upsetting them. Encourage your toddler to talk (if they’re old enough) about whatever is bothering them, and be open to hearing them out.
- Ignore dirty looks. Tantrums in public places can be extremely embarrassing – but don’t allow other people’s stares to make you feel guilty. Stay focused on parenting your child and ignore the dirty looks.
- Avoid punishment. Be compassionate, and work on getting to the root of the problem rather than automatically turning to harsh discipline.
- Show affection. Sometimes a tantrum is just a cry for attention and affection. Give your child plenty of cuddles and remind them that you’re always there.