Temper Tantrums: how to deal with IT!
Toddlers throw temper tantrums because they work. From birth, parents respond to their cries for anything and everything. Now, as thinking, desiring, active toddlers, they do not understand that the rules have changed or why. They do not like their new found independence to be limited. They want what they want----when they want it. Toddlers have also discovered rage to be difficult to control. After all, controlling your emotions takes practice. If they see you get angry, they will follow that lesson. Here are some very basic rules to dealing with toddler temper tantrums.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rules:
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #1:
First, learn to breathe. Remember breathing in labor? Do that.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #2:
Always remember, you are the adult. You are bigger, stronger, more experienced. You should also have more patience. If you want the toddler to come to you and they won’t, go get her. You do not have to use brute strength, but you might have to think ahead of the child’s move. Toddlers can be very fast.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #3:
Yelling solves nothing. If your toddler sees you lose control of your emotions, he/she will think that this is acceptable behavior. Stay calm. Keep your voice even. Although speaking a little louder than normal, so you can be heard, is helpful, screaming angrily is not.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #4:
If your toddler wants two cookies or crackers or whatever the snack of the moment is and you only want him/her to have one----break one in half. As long as both hands are full, your toddler will be happy. So will you.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #5:
Toddlers experience the same emotions adults do, but with less practice at controlling them. They have a right to their emotions. Let your toddler express his/her emotions in a safe manner. If they really need to cry it out, let them do so in a safe, ‘out of the way’ location. A crying pillow or towel or blanket helps. Stay near to provide comfort when needed, but give your toddler a chance to resolve their rage.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #6:
All actions have consequences. Start early explaining consequences. You will have to explain many times over, but it is important that your toddler hears this from you. This is the rule. We do not break the rule. Stick to the rules.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #7:
Keep it simple. Temper tantrum throwing toddlers do not understand lengthy discussion about cause and effect while they are throwing the tantrum. Keep your statements simple and clear.
Toddler Temper Tantrum Rule #8:
Once things have calmed down, praise your toddler for getting herself under control. Give positive reinforcement. Hug her. Do something fun with her. Enjoy your happy toddler.
There really is a light at the end of this temper tantrum tunnel. Remember, they won’t be toddlers forever. Soon, they will be School Age---and after that comes TEEN-AGERS! With luck, your efforts to survive temper tantrum throwing toddlers will have its rewards in a non-temper tantrum throwing teenager. Well, we can dream anyway.
About the Author:--Debbie Kleinheider is a Neonatal and Pediatric nurse, Childbirth Educator, labor and postpartum doula, mother of six, and grandmother of 4 (and growing). She writes from her vast experiences and extensive knowledge on the subject of children.
Toddler Temper Tantrums: Questions Answered
by: Debbie Kleinheider
Q: My toddler throws the worst temper tantrums every day. I am losing my patience and don't know how to handle it. Are there any ways to allow my toddler to express her emotions without losing my sanity?
A: My oldest daughter was the queen of toddler temper tantrums. Her fits were legendary. It took a lot of trial and error and consulting every experienced mom I knew, but we finally came up with a solution. We designated a ‘crying pillow’ for her to use. When she would go into her rages, we would hand her the pillow and tell her to cry into that. When her rage ended, we would talk about the rule in question. If the temper tantrum ended quickly, we praised her for her control. It didn’t necessarily stop the temper tantrums, but recognizing her need to express her emotions made it easier to deal with. We gave her an outlet. And the pillow lowered the noise level to a more tolerable level.