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How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums?

November 16, 2022 6 min read

How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums?

Learn Why Toddler Tantrum Happens and The Best Approaches To Address This Issue.

Toddler tantrums trigger worry and anxiety in many parents. We often get caught into typing “How To Deal With Toddler Tantrums” on google in hopes to manage the situation. We find ways to understand our kids’ behavior as well as learning how to keep us cool and not make any reaction that we would later regret like hitting our shouting at our child.

Every parent, which I believe is, for sure, has been into this situation that they tried hard to keep calm but ended irritated and annoyed to finally scold their child to stop these tantrum episodes. What happens next is that kids will either scream more or cry more.

At that very moment, we as parents would think that it would be best to just give in to what our kids demand just for them to stop. You did this? At some point perhaps, but be reminded that it is not healthy to address this issue in ways that our kids get used to having what they want in this manner.

With our carefully researched tips and tricks to manage your toddler’s tantrum, you will learn many ways to stop tantrums even before they start, and you can as well train yourself on how to react to your kid’s behavior with calmness and constructively as possible when your kiddo melts down.

Understanding The Nature of Toddler Tantrums

Tantrums are very common in children aged 1-3 years.

This stage of a child’s life where a kid’s social and emotional skills are only just starting to develop, tantrums become their language in expressing their feelings or big emotions, which at age 1 to 3 are hardly expressed with words as these kiddos are still learning the Alphabet. So they cry and most often they scream and become destructive of their toys just to get your attention and assist them in what they need. And they do this as well to study and learn how adults behave or react towards what they do, and our reactions to this play a big role in their attitude towards things as they continue to grow and become independent in many ways.

However, the problem is that we parents, at most, tend to misunderstand these behaviors of our children and we ourselves get easily irritated. So here arethe reasons why a toddler has their tantrum episodes even when they seem to be the most behaved kid you’ve ever seen.

  • Temperament – this influences how quickly and strongly children react to things like frustrating events. Children who get upset easily might be more likely to have tantrums.
  • Stress, hunger, tiredness, and overstimulation – these can make it harder for children to express and manage feelings and behavior.
  • Situations that children just can’t cope with – for example, a toddler might have trouble coping if an older child takes a toy away.
  • Strong emotions – worry, fear, shame, and anger can be overwhelming for children.

Addressing Toddler Tantrums

As with many child psychologists’ advice, the best way to manage tantrums is to give to yourself and your child a time-out and ignore the tantrums. It is found with behavioral studies for kids that when you respond to and have your child get what they want through this behavior, then tantrums will not end.

The Time-Out Technique - This is when your child has tantrums and you pick them up and hold them in one place until their turmoil calms down and is able to answer you rationally. Patience will be your key ingredient as this may take time and while on the process, stay calm with no words to say or any facial reactions to what they do even when they push you away. Only talk to them when they are already calm, and only then that you ask them what seems to be the problem and make it your way to explaining how things will be at its best for them. Don’t forget to explain why they are being held to a time-out, this will help them understand that tantrums are not the way to get what they need or want.

The Big Hug Technique - Kids having tantrums are at a very emotional event that receiving a BIG HUG from a person they trust or their “comfort person”, which usually is either mom or dad, they tend to calm down as this hug is a form of security for them. Physical attachment of kids to mommy and/or daddy who have held them always when they were babies have a great impact on kids' adaptation to stress. Normally, with this technique, kids eventually calm down and become more rational to discuss with you the reason behind such behavior.

The Ghosting Technique- This technique has been proven effective for most parents who have tried it. Granting that your kid is in a safe place, away from instances of hurting themselves or accidents, then this technique is one of the best. This is when your kids tend to get your attention with their tantrums and you are required to act as if you don’t see or hear them, but just be mindful of their safety. Be reminded that at some point, kids would level up their tantrums until they get your attention, but while you are being firm, they eventually give up finding ways to distract you and they become calm all by themselves. This technique will help them realize that tantrums will not work and would eventually cease from doing it.

The Ultimatum Consequence Technique - When your child starts to throw tantrums, a line that would help them think and stop right away would be something that strikes the most interesting thing for them, like when a planned trip or a new toy they expect or eating their favorite food in a few hours. Tell them that if they continue the tantrums, then they won’t have these things that make them happy. Remember to be firm with this technique, never give what you told them not to have if they continued to misbehave.

The Mind Overload Technique - Tantrums are emotionally triggered, especially when kids get bored, so when you keep your child’s brain activity busy to finish some tasks, they are less likely to have time thinking of making an act especially when you are out like on a grocery store, you can have them count stuff, identify colors, pick some items, and all these “mind puzzling” tasks that you can give them or have them play cognitive-enhancing toys. Be fun in acknowledging and praising their efforts as they are obliged and do the tasks you give them, kids are motivated whenever they are told how good they are.

The Distraction Technique - This technique requires you to be creative in making an instant distraction for your child just as when the tantrums are about to start. The lines “oh! What’s that? Look at the birds/trees/dogs/ or just anything that seems to be new for them, will definitely have their attention switched from tantrums to feeding their curiosity. Another distraction is for you to be funny and entertaining, sing out loud, dance, or act out something that would make them laugh, and it works most of the time.

The Mirror Technique - When a child is having tantrums, place them in front of the mirror and let them be, eventually as they see how they look like while doing that behavior, they tend to realize how their cuteness is gone and you’ll be amazed they will stop on their own without you saying a word.

Managing Yourself to Manage Toddler’s Tantrums

Managing and dealing with your child’s tantrums and meltdowns can be overwhelming and drains your energy and stress you out. You may be tempted to step in with drastic measures to end it right away. But it will always be a safe way to take a breather before deciding how you respond to this behavior your child would have.

Here are ideas for staying calm and keeping things in perspective from

  • Develop a strategy for tantrums. Have a clear plan for how you’ll handle a tantrum in whatever situation you’re in. Concentrate on putting your plan into action when the tantrum happens.
  • Accept that you can’t control your child’s emotions or behavior directly. You can only keep your child safe and guide their behavior so tantrums are less likely to happen in the future.
  • Accept that it takes time for change to happen. Your child has a lot of growing up to do before tantrums are gone forever. Developing and practicing self-regulation skills is a life-long task.
  • Beware of thinking that your child is doing it on purpose or is trying to upset you. Children don’t have tantrums deliberately – they’re stuck in a bad habit or just don’t have the skills right now to cope with the situation.
  • Keep your sense of humor. But don’t laugh at the tantrum – if you do, it might reward your child with attention. It might also upset your child even more if they think you’re laughing at them.
  • If other people give you dirty looks, ignore them. They’ve either never had children or it’s been so long since they had a young child that they’ve forgotten what it’s like.

Leave us a comment if you like this post, request a topic, or ask a question and we will gladly share what we know about our precious children.

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