While tantrums can often test a parent’s patience, consider your child’s situation. Tantrums can be caused by a number of factors, such as the inability of your child to communicate what he or she is feeling, because he or she doesn’t yet know the words; trying to assert independence, which is completely natural for toddlers; or feeling hungry, tired, over stimulated or simply bored.
Tantrums are inevitable, so here are some tips for handling a toddler’s tantrums without losing your cool.
- Divert your child’s attention. A simple, impromptu distraction, such as a game of “I Spy,” could help gain your child’s interest in playing while putting on the back seat whatever is causing him or her to feel stressed.
- Laugh. Little ones take behavioral cues from observing other people. So, if you sense that a tantrum is brewing, do something silly to make your toddler laugh.
- Lower your voice. Don’t match your toddler’s screams with screams of your own. Try whispering to him or her in a calm and soothing voice.
- Change the environment. If you’re in a public place such as a restaurant, try removing your child from the situation before things get out of hand. A simple change of scenery sometimes does wonders.
- Stand your ground. Don’t give in to your child’s demands just to keep him or her calm. Doing so could reinforce the notion that tantrums are a way for your child to get what he or she wants, and could encourage your child to behave in this manner in the future.