A young child has temper tantrums; it is part of the development process. The child does not know how to deal with feelings of anger and frustration and lacks language skills. Fortunately, the tantrums will decrease as his vocabulary increases.
Preventing a meltdown is better than dealing with one. Most toddler tantrums will be due to frustration. Recognize what causes your child’s frustration tantrums and make plans to prevent them
Hunger or tired: A child is more likely to have temper tantrums when he is hungry or tired. Arrange his daily routine so his needs are met, e.g. having a snack or an earlier nap time. Never plan activities when your toddler would usually be napping.
The sudden change of activity: Tell the child when an activity is about to end, such as, “We are eating in ten minutes, finish your drawing.”
New skill: If your child is having problems learning a new skill, such as stacking blocks, be available to assist if he needs it.
Having to Be Quiet over Long Periods of Time: Toddlers get restless when they have to sit quietly, such as a church service or at a school program. Don’t be shy about offering a bribe. Not during the event, but before you get there, such as, “If you are good during your sister’s musical we will go for ice cream after.” If the child gets restless, remind her of the reward. Pack toys and other distractions so the child can entertain herself.
Taking things from him: Attempt to trade for something else when the child has something he shouldn’t.
How to Handle a Tantrum
Manipulative tantrums are when the child wants to have his way. Teach him this behavior doesn’t work.
Keep calm –Always speak in a calm voice. Don’t yell. The last thing you want to do is get into a battle of wills. If you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, count to 30 before responding.
Diversion –Sometimes you can stop a toddler tantrum when it first starts by using something else to get the child’s attention. Point out a bird or something happening on TV. You can try offering the child a toy or food.
Ignore — If the child wants attention, ignore the tantrum. Keep an eye on the child so you know she is safe.
Timeout –If the child is throwing things or hitting another person or pet; place the child in time out. Firmly explain to the child why he is going into time out, for example, “You kicked Fluffy. Sit down.” The child should remain in time out for one minute for each year of age. If the child leaves the spot, return him and begin the timer again. Don’t talk with the child while he is in time out. Once the child has calmed down, end the time out. Ask the toddler if he is ready to stop kicking the cat? If the child answers “no,” return the child to time out.
Tantrums in Public
Attempt to ignore the behavior. If ignoring doesn’t work, move the child someplace quiet such as the car. Stay until the child calms down, you might say, “Are ready to finish shopping?” Always return to what you were doing. The child may be throwing tantrums to avoid shopping and other activities. If the child says “no,” remain in the car until the child is ready.
Studies show people judge the parents not by what the child is doing, but how the mother reacts. Stay calm and act in control and people will think you are a good parent.
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