Are toddler tantrums raging in your home worn-out mama? Do you give in to what they are throwing a fit over just to get it over with sooner?
You aren’t alone in feeling panic when a LO is flailing around looking like they are possessed. It’s easy to give in but will make it harder in the long-run.
Read-on for some tips on what to do the next time your loving child turns into a demon throwing a toddler tantrum!
Avoid Physically Consoling Them
Think about the last toddler tantrum that happened in your home. Was your kiddo self-contained with their hands by their sides?
If your kid is like most, they were throwing limbs around, grabbing things to slam on the ground. Trying to wrap your arms around that hot mess is impossible.
Going for a hug will make your tyke even more ticked rather than your goal of making them calm and you might get a shiner in the process.
Talk Softly and Acknowledge Their Feelings
So, you’re standing there now with nothing to do and you’re potentially getting pissed yourself and ready to scream that they are being ridiculous!
Use the count to ten method and take a breather. You can even leave the room. I like to stand there and put a comical spin on what I’m seeing instead of choosing to get caught up in the crazy.
Once you’ve lowered your stress level, just talk calmly through the toddler tantrum and help give them some vocabulary to use when they feel like this.
- I can see that you’re mad.
- I can tell you are frustrated.
- I understand that you are upset.
- I know you are feeling angry and don’t know what to do.
Play the Waiting Game
Again, intervening works about as well as your husband telling you that you just need to calm down when you’re ticked. You can use some distractions but don’t direct them at your LO.
- Start to read a book aloud to “yourself” in a comfortable spot near where they are losing it. Just keep a calm voice and keep reading the book, essentially ignoring their behavior. Some of the time, they’ll calm themselves down and come sit by you to see the book.
- Spend some time cleaning something that you might normally have them help with. Using a little broom and dustpan to start sweeping the kitchen floor can pique their interest and have them wanting to take over.
- Get out some Play-Doh and quietly roll the dough out and cut shapes with a cookie cutter. You getting special play time and them feeling left out will snap them out of their emotional tornado!
Whatever you come up with, don’t direct the activity towards them. Become engaged in what you’re doing and they’ll come to you.
Address the Freak Out
Tantrums are normal for toddlers and it’s fine for them to have them. You still need to talk through what happened.
Talk About Their Feelings
When the little bugger is calm, start to talk about what happened using the same vocabulary you did in the moment.
- I’m sorry that you were mad about something.
- It is really hard being frustrated and not having the words to explain.
- It’s OK to be upset about things that aren’t going right for us.
- It’s not fun being angry because we don’t know what to do.
Correct Their Behavior
At the point when they are calm, you need to do some correcting on behaviors that happened in the heat of the flipping their sh$! moment!
- Did they throw things? Have them go through the process of picking them up and putting them back.
- Did they hit you? Tell them that arms and hands aren’t for hitting, only for hugs. Give them a hug.
It’s really important not to skip this step. You are showing you are the one in charge and that there are consequences to their actions.
If you need more on being consistent with discipline, checkout Disciplining Your Toddler.
Keep Calm and “Good Mom” On
You’re stuck in a rough patch and you just have to keep going one step at a time. Being consistent will help you and reminding yourself that you are just doing the best you can!
Think of each tantrum as a new opportunity to start over with a clean-slate. Both you and your LO will be better off if you you do.