One of the worst things about tantrums is all the unnecessary advice. When you're trying to wrangle a screaming, snarling toddler away from whatever item they shouldn't touch, the last thing you need is a stranger's comments. Why people seem to think what parents really need in the middle of an epic meltdown is unsolicited advice confounds me. However, there are some tried and tested tricks parents use to get their toddler to stop throwing a tantrum.
In my humble opinion, tips from those right in the middle of the early parenting years have an extra validity to them. It's always worth learning some new approaches to avoiding and dealing with inevitable tantrums, especially if you find what you are currently doing just isn't working.
Tantrums are a normal part of child development. When children throw themselves on the floor and have a big scream they are telling you they don't have the resources available to deal with their feelings in this moment. As parents, it can be so difficult not to lose our temper and throw our own tantrum when faced with a screaming toddler. However, there is a better way, so stay cool and try out some of these tips from the front lines of parenting a toddler:
"I ask my toddler for help with a job. She loves helping so it snaps her out of it."
"I offer a snack. I find 70 percent of tantrums are hangry issues!"
"I hold him tight and whisper, 'It's OK.' It works about half the time."
"Distraction tactics all the way. I say, 'Oh, look at this.' Toddlers are so nosy!"
"I give a time out. However, it's not a punishment, but literally a time to sit and calm down for everyone."
"When my toddler is out of control and screaming, I pick her up and blow gently on her face. It makes her take a breath, which is usually all she needs to calm down and listen."
"I say, 'I'm listening.' I find most of the time tantrums happen because little kids feel like adults are not listening to their feelings."
"I suggest we go do something else that I know he likes to do, like play with a ball or play hide and seek."
"I ignore tantrums. I just go about my business and pretend I can't hear."
"We have a punch pillow, so if someone is mad they can go hit the pillow. Anger is OK, it's how we teach kids to express it that causes issues."
"I sympathize. Even if it's totally ridiculous, I say, 'I am so sorry you are sad, that must be very difficult.' It seems to help."
"We have a 'mad bear' and if he is feeling sad he can go hug it. I take it everywhere and I bought a spare one!"