When toddlers throw a fit and start screaming and kicking in public, every parent begins to cringe. There’s nothing worse than strangers watching you fail miserably at calming down your screaming child. While it’s uncomfortable in the public eye, it’s just as challenging at home, however.
Tantrums can leave parents feeling powerless and drained afterward. Unfortunately, it’s a period of a child’s life that you must accept. That’s not to say that you can’t find ways to survive it and make things a little easier.
Here are some of the best tips for handling your toddler’s tantrums and surviving parenthood through these awkward moments.
Explain The Rules Before
A lot of parents make the mistake of letting a child get to the point of a tantrum before they attempt to lay down the rules. Unfortunately, this results in them being so emotional that they are rarely calm enough to be willing to listen to the rules.
Try to explain the circumstances and terms clearly before they get to the point of frustration. For example, if you’re crossing the street, explain the dangers of getting hit by a car. They need to understand that if they refuse to hold your hand, it could result in serious injury. Therefore, if they don’t follow the rules, they will have to suffer the consequences of time out or a privilege taken away.
Eliminate The Causes
Try to identify what the leading causes are of their tantrums. Once you figure out the common denominator, try to avoid these situations.
If you know that every time you go to the grocery store, they’ll wail about wanting candy, then avoid the candy line. Sometimes it’s in your best interest to stay away from the triggers altogether.
Even though you may want to scream and pull your hair out, you’re not going to calm anyone down by reflecting their manic energy. Try to remain calm during their fits. You’ll find that you’re much more successful getting them to stop screaming if you show them the right example.
Do whatever it takes to feel calm. Whether it be taking deep breaths, or stepping away for a bit, it’s important to give yourself the tools to get to a calm state of mind.
When children see that they get a reaction out of you every time that they throw a fit, you’re acknowledging their bad behavior. If you ignore this behavior, however, over time they’ll start to see that it doesn’t work. They’ll become less and less prone to tantrums as a result.
When children are under the age of 3, it can be difficult to rationalize with them. Often your best bet is to distract them from whatever they’re upset about rather than bang your head against a wall trying to explain the rules over and over.