As a mom, there are few situations that can fill you with more frustration than the sudden appearance of a tantrum, especially when you’re out in public.
It’s never fun being the one with the screaming child, standing in line at the store, exhausted and exasperated, as your pouting toddler falls to the floor over not getting a candy bar.
Knowing how to deal with tantrums like a total boss can make all the difference between a long few years of poorly managed emotions for your little and a quick and decisive end to those bawling breakdowns.
This Is How to Actually Tame Toddler Tantrums Like a Pro
Holding Firm – If your normally lovely little is only acting out in order to get something from you, then it’s important that you don’t give in just yet, even if it’s something that you would normally let them have.
No matter the situation, trading your child’s goal for an end to the tantrum now is only setting yourself up for additional tantrums to come. Resist the urge to give in and stand your ground on the matter.
Little Tip: Tempting though it may be to reward the child once they stop, this will only produce more future tantrums. Wait until you can be sure the child won’t associate what you’re giving them with the tantrum before offering any further reward.
Take It Down A Notch – During the course of the tantrum, allowing yourself to raise your voice, or become overly excited will never bring the situation to a close.
Acknowledge your little one’s behavior and concerns by showing that you know that they are upset, without allowing yourself to slip down to the same state they are in.
Little Tip: No matter how upset you may feel, keep your tone of voice calm. One of the best ways to stop future tantrums now is to lead by example.
A Mutual Understanding – One important way to show your little that you are listening is to acknowledge their frustrations.
A simple statement like “I understand that you’re frustrated that we can’t leave yet.” is often all it takes to give them a chance to emotionally reset, and start calming back down.
Little Tip: Again, make sure that you are explaining the situation in a calm and logical way. Even if your child doesn’t fully understand the point that you’re making, they will be more likely to match your tone, meaning that an angry outburst on your end may make the tantrum worse.
Stepping Back – If you’re out and about in the world with your kid when they start acting up, don’t be that parent who’s simply ignoring the tantrum, take your little outside and get them away from the situation.
Sometimes, bringing a tantrum to an early end can be as simple as stepping away from other people and depriving your little one of an audience for their theatrics.
Little Tip: If possible, walk away from what you were doing all together, cutting the activity short. Making good on a promise to simply head home, shows that you’re serious when it comes to stopping this tantrum.
Ride It Out – If you’ve offered understanding, and your child still isn’t taking the opportunity to calm down, then this could be a situation where you’ve got no choice but to ride out the storm and wait until they have their emotions back in hand.
Keep your responses calm and level, and continue to show acknowledgment without giving in and give your little time to restart themselves.
Sooner or later, burnout will hit, and when it does, things will quickly go back to normal.
Little Tip: Don’t outright ignore the tantrum that your little is throwing, but don’t give them any positive feedback when you’re in the process of riding it out. Stay calm and collected, and stick to your position.
Look Over There – If your little is truly distraught, sometimes, the best thing to do is give them something new to focus all that energy and emotion on.
Change the subject, and carry on with what you’re getting done if you’re not in public, showing your little that you can push down those emotions that are currently out of control, and refocus them in a more healthy way than an outburst.
Little Tip: While logical reasoning may not seem to go far with a screaming toddler, some part of them will hear what you’re saying, and explaining the situation can help them start to build up logic of their own that can help them self-soothe in future frustrating situations, helping to avoid a new tantrum right from the start.