For our final 5 things post we are talking tantrums, a regular occurrence in our house. I know this is more ways to prevent or stop tantrums but with toddlers they are going to happen, you just have to stick with it apparently they stop but I’m not so sure! D is fast approaching the testing two’s (a name someone said to me before that much better describes the reason behind a two year olds behaviour! ) with tantrums and uncharacteristic behaviour. So if your struggling to get tantrums under control why not try these tips?
1. Time out – D started this one all on his own! Create a safe calm environment for your child in a place that’s accessible and nearby your most used place or room. D sits on the stairs and I do think this is due to D always having a tantrum about being on the naughty step but every time he’s asked to calm down when he’s throwing a tantrum that’s where he goes. Calmly explain that throwing a tantrum will not allow them to have what they want and why they can’t have it. Tell your child that they can sit in the calm place (whatever you have put down for them to sit on) and once they are calm enough they can go back to what they where doing. You may need to remind them to come off at first to establish they understand calm and not calm. This method is great when at home or at family members homes. It can be adapted for cushions, chairs or even their pram.
2. Create a plan for outside the home – Being a parent to a toddler means tantrums happen any where including when you are out and especially when shopping. With people staring and whispering to each other its easy to become agitated. Creating a plan is a great way to stay calm and in control, I know that’s a tall order but it can happen. The plan can be very simple, our plan is that if a tantrum starts to take place we move to relatively empty place and stop. We tell D we will not be continuing what we are doing until he is calm enough and that if he cannot do that we are going staight home. The key is to stick to it! Stand by what you say every time, if you cannot take them home then don’t say you will the same for if you tell them they can have something then you will have to give them it (I don’t recommend this as they then associate tantrums with rewards). The first while the tantrums may happen more or last longer, if you stick to it then you will notice the difference after they realise you are going to continue with this.
3. Do not get angry or annoyed – I know this is hard but you will just be telling your child not to express themselves and I’m sure you will agree this is not what we want to achieve. If you need to take a deep breath to achieve this then do, no parent would judge you! Children are very perceptive to your tone of voice and body language for a calm toddler you need a calm adult. You will also want to avoid ‘that is bad, naughty, babyish or anything along those lines (you would be surprised the things I hear while shopping! ) when dealing with tantrums.
4. Stop and listen – sometimes a tantrum can be for a different reason than you think, always ask why if they point or show you the same thing then it is but many a time has D shown me something completely different to what I am telling him no for. Sometimes this is enough to calm them down and will other times require another way too.
5. Throw a tantrum! – I only recommend this for at home use when nothing else is working or tantrums are over nothing. Just get on the floor and throw a tantrum like your child. Yes I have told you before I am crazy, but this works amazingly! They see how they look having a tantrum plus they tend to be in shock that you are throwing a tantrum and quickly stop! Although I imagine this would stop if used to much.
There you have it how we deal with the ever growing tantrums! I must say these really help us to keep D calm and to stop a tantrum. If you have any tips just add them below everything helps when you are trying to control a tantrum with a toddler.