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8 Tips for Dealing With Temper Tantrums

1. Remain Calm

A toddler who's in full-on tantrum mode screaming, kicking, and falling out isn't a situation for the faint of heart. It has the potential to strike, fear, frustration, and even anger into any well-meaning adult. But it is important to remain calm.

When you are calm you are modeling the proper (and expected) behavior for your child. You are actively showing him how you expect him to behave, and making him feel safe at the same time.

Toddlers throw tantrums when they feel completely out of control over their situation. They need an adult who can remain calm and in control at all times.

When your child is throwing a tantrum the first thing to do is take a deep breath, relax, and keep calm.

This moment too shall pass.

2. Practice Patience

This moment will pass, and soon enough this life stage of toddler tantrum will also pass.

Patience is the ability to remain unshaken, calm, and collected even during the most

difficult times.

Patience can be practiced by being mindful in the midst of a tantrum.

Remind yourself that this is just a moment that every mother has to experience at some

point and that you are fully capable of handling it, and handling it well.

3. Use a Distraction

Nothing works better to quickly end a tantrum than a good old diversion. One of my favorite mommy magic tricks is to end a tantrum in record speed with a quick distraction.

In order for a distraction to work, it should be sudden, and also interesting.

You may need to be creative with this one. You could distract your toddler by showing her something interesting, new, and exciting. By doing this she will lose interest in what was originally upsetting her.

Be creative and think in the moment, or carry a secret weapon with you at all times. This could be a toy, or coloring book, or even a snack that she didn’t know you had.

Simply diffuse the situation with a distraction.

4. Forgive and Forget

Once a tantrum has ended be sure to move on quickly. Try not to show your frustration in your face. Do not remind your toddler about anything regarding the tantrum, don't talk about it with your spouse or anyone else.

Just let it go.

Your toddler will appreciate this, and you're avoiding accidental negative reinforcement of her bad behavior.

Let your little one know that even though she can completely lose it, she is still worthy of your love and affection.

Give her plenty of praise, hugs, and kisses after the tantrum is over and she is displaying better behavior.

5. Understand why tantrums happen

Okay so you're making your famous pb&j sandwich for your precious princess, and all of a sudden she's in full melt-down mode. You assume she's just hungry, so being the good momma that you are, you rush and move faster to make her sandwich. She screams louder.

Because she isn't fully verbal just yet and lacks patience she isn't able to tell you that although she loves your pb&j she's just rather not have peanut butter on her sandwich this time. She only wants jelly.

Tantrums happen when a child is unable to fully express himself.

During toddlerhood, a child has enough self-awareness to understand exactly what he wants, but in many cases, he doesn't have the verbal capacity to do so.

When you combine the drive to be independent and obtain his needs with the lack of verbal skills to do it and then mix in the fact that toddlers lack patience, you now have perfect conditions for a tantrum storm.

Tantrums happen because your baby wants to be a big girl. She wants to exert a little bit of independence, and she doesn’t want you to get in the way of that.

6. Set a Schedule

Life is crazy and hectic and sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.

But… it's still important to set a schedule for your toddler as best you can.

Toddlerhood can be difficult because your child may be refusing her normal naps, or becoming picky with what she eats (which makes her hungry at random times).

But it's still good to try to establish a routine for her. Try sticking to a set wake-up time, a set time to eat each meal, and a set time for naps, play, learning, and exploring.

If nap time is set for 1 pm try a regular routine to set that in motion. Maybe a book, and a cup of warm milk (or tea if you're my toddler) while cuddling on the couch. Don't be too disappointed if your little one decides not to nap, but still offer the opportunity and take things quiet and slow during that scheduled time.

Be sure to schedule a time for lots of play. This keeps your toddler from storing up too much energy which can lead to more explosive tantrums later.

7. Be prepared

Your best defense against tantrums is YOU!

You know your toddler perhaps better than anyone else. You did after all grow this little one in your very own belly.

Be mindful of what triggers your toddler's tantrums. Do they typically happen in the same setting (like the grocery store, or while you make lunch)? Do they happen near a particular person (like an annoying sibling) or during a particular time of day (right around noonish)?

If you know what typically triggers tantrums you can be prepared for the tantrum which will help quickly resolve it or avoid it altogether.

I know my toddler is going to throw a tantrum every time we drive past that toy store called five below. They always have a basket of colorful balls sitting outside the storefront *which just so happens to be next door to Publix). That always triggers Noah without fail. He wants a rainbow ball and he wants it now!

I know to expect this, so I usually grab his attention and distract him as we drive by that mountain of bouncy balls. Voila, no tantrum!

You can also be prepared by having a few snacks handy he could be throwing a tantrum out of hunger, perhaps you forgot that he threw his fish stick lunch on the floor.

Being prepared could also look like having a toddler emergency kit nearby. Keep handy a few toys that he doesn't often get to see (keep them for times like these), a book, a few crayons and paper, and maybe even a favorite blanket.

The best way to be prepared is simply knowing that tantrums happen. They're pretty much a rite of passage for you as a momma and for your little one too.

8. Encourage Language Development

Tantrum typically stops when the child learns better ways to communicate or expands his vocabulary. Encourage language development by spending quality time with your toddler.

Get on her level, listen to her, and be fully engaged. Play games and most importantly read

plenty of books to her.

Learn language developing games, and even try sign language which most babies and

toddlers love.

Temper tantrums are a normal part of early childhood development, and with proper management they will cease sooner as opposed to later. Practice a lot of patience and see if these tips work for you. In cases where your child seems to cry nonstop, and nothing works to alleviate it, consult your child pediatrician.

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