Tactics to tame tantrums

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Tactics to tame tantrums

Tactics to tame tantrums

Tackle the "terrible twos" with our top tips for handling toddler temper tantrums

Mum of two, Barbara

"This took courage but our revelation happened in the middle of a busy toy shop. Our daughter collapsed on the floor, screaming and kicking so I walked round the corner to the next aisle, just for a minute and always within sight of her. Without an audience, she stopped immediately."

We all think our children are little angels, of course, but at around 18 months a more devilish side can begin to appear.

You might be left wondering why their halo has temporarily stopped glowing, but rest assured that dealing with toddler temper tantrums is just part of being a parent. So, even though you might feel like stamping your feet too, try to remember that toddler tantrums are normal, natural and healthy.

However, there are a few things you can do to try and help minimise the likelihood of toddler tantrums:

  1. To avoid your toddler taking out their frustrations on your breakables, "toddler-proof" your home by placing dangerous, fragile and precious things out of reach
  2. Try to keep to a regular routine for mealtimes, nap, bath and bedtime
  3. Be aware of changes and new developments in your child's life, such as potty training and starting nursery that may affect their behaviour

And, as always, we've got some great tips to help you try and keep the peace.

Taming tantrums

Here are our top five tips to help you tame those tantrums:

  1. Be consistent
    When it comes to toddler tantrums, the number one is never give in. Make sure you follow through whatever consequences you threaten to carry out. Give consistency and firm boundaries so that your child learns there are behavioural limits. Get it wrong, and they'll know exactly which buttons to press!
  2. Distract and divert
    Tantrums can sometimes be caused by boredom. Try distracting your toddler with a book, new toy, crayons or colouring books. Humour can also work brilliantly to defuse a situation - sing a song, tell a funny joke or put on a silly voice. Make sure you give your child lots of opportunities to let off steam by running around outside, going to the park and playing games outside in the fresh air.
  3. Praise good behaviour with a star chart
    Involve your child and get them to make their own star chart. On 'good' days, award your toddler a star or a sticker. At the end of the week, you allow them to choose a reward such as a small toy, magazine or trip to the park, rather than incentivising with sweets.
  4. Give them 'time out'
    This can work for older toddlers who need to learn that their behaviour isn't acceptable. Giving them space to cool off can be very effective. Always make sure they are somewhere safe though. Popular spots include the bottom step (can be tricky if you have a stairgate!) or on a cushion in the corner of a quiet room.
  5. Keep calm and carry on Toddlers like to be centre stage and they want mummy and daddy to have front row seats! Losing your temper and making a fuss can be a sufficient reward for an attention-seeking toddler. Show a good example by remaining calm when tantrums strike. This will encourage your toddler to do the same.

It might not always be easy to see things from their side but remember that it's tough being a toddler. Remember that tantrums are part of a behavioural phase that will hopefully pass.

Support your child by giving them some control and choice in their daily life by letting them choose their own toys, clothes and meals. Most children do grow out of tantrums when they have developed more language and understanding but for now, stay calm and work with them rather than against them and their halo will soon be glowing again!

Remember that if you have genuine concerns about your child's behaviour, seek further advice from your health visitor or GP.

Read more like this:
Foundations for a healthy appetite
Childproofing your home
Little chatterboxes: Helping your child to talk
Let's go potty
Moving your child from a cot into a bed

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Tactics to tame tantrums

Tackle the "terrible twos" with our top tips for handling toddler temper tantrums

We all think our children are little angels, of course, but at around 18 months a more devilish side can begin to appear.

You might be left wondering why their halo has temporarily stopped glowing, but rest assured that dealing with toddler temper tantrums is just part of being a parent. So, even though you might feel like stamping your feet too, try to remember that toddler tantrums are normal, natural and healthy.

However, there are a few things you can do to try and help minimise the likelihood of toddler tantrums:

  1. To avoid your toddler taking out their frustrations on your breakables, "toddler-proof" your home by placing dangerous, fragile and precious things out of reach
  2. Try to keep to a regular routine for mealtimes, nap, bath and bedtime
  3. Be aware of changes and new developments in your child's life, such as potty training and starting nursery that may affect their behaviour

And, as always, we've got some great tips to help you try and keep the peace.

Taming tantrums

Here are our top five tips to help you tame those tantrums:

1: Be consistent

When it comes to toddler tantrums, then number one is never give in. Make sure you follow through whatever consequences you threaten to carry out. Give consistency and firm boundaries so that your child learns there are behavioural limits. Get it wrong, and they'll know exactly which buttons to press!

2: Distract and divert

Tantrums can sometimes be caused by boredom. Try distracting your toddler with a book, new toy, crayons or colouring books. Humour can also work brilliantly to defuse a situation - sing a song, tell a funny joke or put on a silly voice. Make sure you give your child lots of opportunities to let off steam by running around outside, going to the park and playing games outside in the fresh air.

3: Praise good behaviour with a star chart

Involve your child and get them to make their own star chart. On 'good' days, award your toddler a star or a sticker. At the end of the week, you allow them to choose a reward such as a small toy, magazine or trip to the park, rather than incentivising with sweets.

4: Give them 'time out'

This can work for older toddlers who need to learn that their behaviour isn't acceptable. Giving them space to cool off can be very effective. Always make sure they are somewhere safe though. Popular spots include the bottom step (can be tricky if you have a stairgate!) or on a cushion in the corner of a quiet room.

5: Keep calm and carry on

Toddlers like to be centre stage and they want mummy and daddy to have front row seats! Losing your temper and making a fuss can be a sufficient reward for an attention-seeking toddler. Show a good example by remaining calm when tantrums strike. This will encourage your toddler to do the same.

It might not always be easy to see things from their side but remember that it's tough being a toddler. Remember that tantrums are part of a behavioural phase that will hopefully pass.

Support your child by giving them some control and choice in their daily life by letting them choose their own toys, clothes and meals. Most children do grow out of tantrums when they have developed more language and understanding but for now, stay calm and work with them rather than against them and their halo will soon be glowing again!

Remember that if you have genuine concerns about your child's behaviour, seek further advice from your health visitor or GP.

Read more like this:

Foundations for a healthy appetite
Childproofing your home
Little chatterboxes: Helping your child to talk
Let's go potty
Moving your child from a cot into a bed

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