By Jana Angeles
Toddler tantrums are an ugly sight. Whether they happen at the comfort of your own home, a public place or right before they take a well-deserved nap, tantrums are an odd occurrence and it can happen anytime, anywhere. Taming tantrums is not as easy as it looks and most of us will understand the frustrations that come along with it.
Before we even became parents, we judged those around us who couldn’t control their child; now we face the same reality and take back all the remarks that made us supposed “perfect parents”. Tantrums can be controlled though with the right set of tactics. Our children are not monsters by default but they can be if we don’t take the appropriate action sooner. So what can we do to help prevent them?
Be Aware of Triggers
Does your toddler become angry when it comes to playing in the sandbox? Well, like us, toddlers can also be triggered by certain situations if they go to a specific place reminding them of negative memories. To avoid any tantrums happening, we must do our best to understand those triggers and help our toddler be their calm and happy selves. By allowing them to interact in a new place and create fond memories can decrease the chance of them experiencing tantrums, making you the happy parent.
Really Mean It When You Say, “No”
Giving in to everything your child wants is a red flag because they’ll gain the mentality that they can get away with things and do whatever they want. When your child wants a sugary treat for breakfast, you have to stand your ground and say “no” to them. Even if they’re on the floor in hysterics, giving in only shows a sign of weakness. Saying “no” gives your child the independence of knowing that sometimes they don’t have a choice and they must do everything they’re told to (good lesson to learn in preparing them for the workforce).
Cut Out Junk Food From Their Diet
Treats like chips and lollies can give your little one a surge of energy in a short amount of time. Once they burn through the calories, they will begin to feel tired and grouchy and it’s from there, they’ll be at risk of throwing a tantrum. Avoid giving out junk food to your child regularly if you know it will end in chaos. Opt out for healthier options such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts so they can maintain their energy levels to a high degree. They will also sleep and rest better so nap times aren’t as crazy as they should be.
Don’t Show Any Negative Reactions
If your child is throwing a tantrum while you’re shopping, it can be embarrassing to see other people glaring at you for not doing anything. Sometimes you just need to let them be because there really isn’t anything you can do once your child has hit tantrum mode. Resorting negative reactions such as yelling and smacking is ineffective and will outcome to nothing positive. You should handle the situation as calmly as possible. If you are in a public setting, the best thing you can do is to stop what you’re doing and just leave with your child as soon as possible.
When it comes to troubled times, we all want to be held by someone who genuinely cares about you. Same thing goes for your children when they’re experiencing a tantrum. All the energy and tears are drained out of them and sometimes all they want is a hug! Showing comfort to your child will go a long way and it will also let them blow off some steam in the meantime.
Tell Them How You Feel
Being honest with our feelings is an important aspect of communication when understanding the role of empathy. Because your child is young, they will not be aware of the consequences that come with their actions so throwing a tantrum here and there will seem normal to them. Telling your child how you genuinely feel will not only open a door of trust but it will also show them how vital it is to open up to people when they’re upset. As a parent, we should also be asking them why they are throwing these tantrums and try to gain an understanding for what makes them upset. Doing this may help decrease the occurrence of tantrums, encouraging your child to be happy and calm most of the time.
Tantrums are the norm when it comes to raising a toddler so don’t feel like you’ve failed as a parent if your child starts to do this more often than usual. Remember that feelings are complex and there’s nothing we can do but to show support and encouragement throughout this period. Part of growing up is experiencing a set of emotions so put yourself in their shoes and understand that children are still wiring themselves to feel everything.