Wednesday, 11 May 2011

3 Simple Steps to Help You Manage Toddler Tantrums

Toddler tantrums are a normal part of growing up. However, they can cause both you and your little one a great deal of stress. Have you ever wondered what the best ways of managing toddler tantrums are? The tips and tricks in the paragraphs that follow are designed to provide relief from these stressful events in ways that will help both you and your toddler get rid of your frustrations.

Viewing the Behaviour Appropriately

For obvious reasons, tantrums are not an event that parents enjoy. This is even more true if they take place in public, such as at the grocery store. When your toddler is kicking and screaming, it can seem that such things never happen to anyone else. However, take heart in the fact that this is something all parents must deal with at one time or another and they are also a pattern of development that your child will eventually outgrow. Just keeping these two things in mind can help you cope in the middle of a tantrum.

Understanding Childhood Tantrums

Understanding why these tantrums occur can also help you see things through the eyes of your toddler. It is important to remember that toddlers have a limited ability to reason. They are still learning important life skills such as patience and a concept of time. Additionally, toddlers are increasing their awareness of themselves as a separate person and they are constantly exploring their need for more independence. At times, this behaviour comes through in angry outbursts of emotion, sending you both on a downward spiral. Take a few moments to remember these things about your child and you are likely to feel better about the whole situation.

Keeping Your Cool

Allow yourself and your child plenty of personal space while a tantrum is occurring and in the moments that follow. Your child is not likely to respond to reason in the midst of a tantrum, and many times he may not even be willing to accept a loving embrace from you. This is completely normal and he will return to his loving self once his emotions have simmered down. If he will allow you to be close to him, get down to eye level and give him a gentle hug. This lets him know he is loved, even if his behaviour at the moment is less than ideal. If you are at home or in another safe environment, it may also be good for you to step into another room for a few minutes to unwind and cool off if your toddler's behaviour has caused you to become angry. This won't be possible if you are in public, but it is a good option in other locations. In a public situation, try to finish your chores as quickly as possible while remaining calm. As a general rule, the more you try to force your child to calm down, the more likely he is to become even more upset. It's best to let the situation unravel and come to an end on its own, if at all possible.

Remember that childhood tantrums are a sign that your toddler is developing normally and searching for his own independence. Keep in mind that while they are embarrassing and frustrating, these emotional outbursts are normal and will pass with time. Try not to belittle yourself when you do become angry in response to your child's behaviour, as this is also a normal response. Tantrums that occur while you are tired, sick or caring for another child can be even more difficult to deal with. Ask friends who have been through similar situations for toddler tantrums advice. Don't be afraid to ask a friend or relative for help if you feel the need to step away from the situation for a moment. Remembering that you are only human as well can help you deal emotionally with the frustration until the tantrum passes. Soon you will look back at your child's toddler years and realise that they went by very quickly, so use these opportunities to bond with your child and allow your relationship to further deepen.

This post was written by Mums Mall as a guest post for Me, The Man & The Baby