I have a question. Why do toddler tantrums occur at the least appropriate occasion? It’s one of the most embarrassing moments of a mom’s life when you are out in a public place or a party and your little one decides to unleash the beast inside. And not to forget all the judgy childless stares you are met with at that moment. “Why doesn’t she do something about it?” is what I get the most. From dealing with countless temper tantrums and a few meltdowns during my time, I can easily count them in my top 10 list of embarrassing moments. And let me tell you, with time I have managed to calm my little one by following a few tips. So if you too are at a stage where your toddler is not at their best behavior, here’s how you can turn things around.
1. Avoid Any Triggers
Toddlers are just like babies. They act out when their needs aren’t met. So if your toddler starts acting weird, think when was the last time they slept, had something to eat or went to the toilet. Meeting their needs early on will help you stop a tantrum in its tracks. So, if you are traveling make sure you have a few healthy snacks packed with you.
2. Take A Look At Yourself
Before you blame your toddler for their tantrum, see if you have actually contributed to it in some way. Have you been stressed lately? Did you have a bad day and yell at everyone at home? Toddlers are extremely sensitive and your lack of attention can lead to them acting out when you least expect it. They don’t know yet how to deal with stressful emotions in a healthy way.
3. Stay Strong
Establish strong expectations. Do not try to bargain or bribe them in any way. A no should mean a no. If you let them get their way once, they will expect you to do the same every time. So stay firm and let them know why you cannot allow it. If your child is behaving inappropriately, address the situation right then. But let them have fun and enjoy toddlerhood. Don’t be too harsh.
4. Communicate In A Positive Way
No matter how your child behaves, keep your language positive. It’s easy to lose your cool when the other person is acting irrational or screaming. Reciprocating the same way isn’t going to calm the situation. Instead, bend down to their level, make eye contact, and try to calm them down. Instead of calling them a bad boy/girl, try telling ‘You are a good boy/girl. So let’s act like one.’
5. Give A Tight Hug
Whether it’s a temper tantrum or an emotional meltdown, sometimes giving your child a tight and long hug will do the trick. I know what you are thinking. Giving your little tornado a hug is the last thing on your mind right now. But I dare you to try it the next time they unleash their demonic alter ego. It’s a lot more effective than walking away or punishing them.
6. Keep Your Voice Low
I know it’s really hard to keep your voice down when the toddler is screaming at the top of their lungs. You may feel like raising your voice is the best thing to do to calm them down. But that’s only going to make the situation worse. Instead, lower your voice and keep your calm. Children learn from their parents. You don’t want to be a bad role model by teaching them that it’s okay to raise their voice whenever there is an argument or a conflict of interest.
Also, remember that there isn’t a quick fix to your toddler’s temper tantrums and public meltdowns. But be consistent in your approach toward them and you will definitely see the results. Parenting is all about trial and error, taking different approaches, and most importantly being consistent.
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