Toddler Temper Tantrums: The Ultimate Guide
Written by: Kokotree
Parenting is tough. As parents of a toddler, there are numerous situations where you will stop and question your parenting skills and techniques. One such instance is handling the temper tantrums of your child. Toddler temper tantrums can sometimes be exasperating, especially in public, when you are clueless and helpless about the situation.
Every parent goes through many trials and errors, risky experiments, and insecurities in raising their toddler. Although the rewards are tremendous, parenting can be tricky and lack a lustrous job.
What is a toddler temper tantrum?
A temper tantrum for a toddler is an emotional outburst consisting of behavior such as crying, screaming, and physical aggression. It is typically characterized by an irrational display of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, or disappointment in response to not getting what they want or expect in a particular situation. Temper tantrums are usually seen in children between the ages of 1 and 4 and can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more.
Tantrums are universal and primarily attributed to a child’s emotional well-being. They often represent the responses that crop out of the child’s inability to express or communicate emotions.
Tantrums are generally a common phenomenon that fades away as the child ages. On the other hand, tantrums can also be believed to be early symptoms of behavioral problems and mood disorders.
According to a study by NLM (National Library of Medicine), researchers state that tantrums occur in.
- 87% of toddlers between 18 and 24 months
- 91% of children between 30 to 26 months
- 59% of those between 40 to 48 months.
Toddlers crave independence and lose control when things don’t go exactly how they expect them to, which is the most common reason for temper tantrums to trigger.
Brief episodes of extremely unpleasant behaviors that include yelling, whining, banging limbs, throwing away items, crying, kicking, biting, pushing things away, and hitting are all typical ways toddlers throw tantrums. Children of age three and above usually break into tantrums to get things done their way, but tantrums can be picked up even as early as 12 months of age!
Before going any further into the science and management of your toddler’s temper tantrums, rest assured that it is as normal as them learning to crawl, sit up or walk and you can handle them without losing your mind!
The science behind toddler temper tantrums.
A dissertation about Individual differences in Toddlers’ Temper Tantrums presented by Lauren Sarah Border suggests that although tantrums are temporary outbursts of emotions, their progression can be categorized into four distinct phases.
1. Prodromal Phase
This initial stage of temper tantrums is primarily sudden and unpredictable. Often parents are surprised by the onset of tantrums as they come out unexpectedly. It takes a while for parents to adjust and familiarise themselves with this phase. With time, they can recognize symptoms of a bad mood in their child and identify their toddler’s initial phase of tantrums.
2. Confrontation Phase
This phase marks the beginning of disordered and chaotic behavior in the child. During this phase, the child begins to shout, scream, bang, and hit people because of the emotional overflow that the child cannot control. Children try to confront the emotion with their understanding of the feeling.
This is where children try to communicate their demands in their language. More often than not, chances are that the child can turn destructive and aggressive while confronting unfamiliar emotions.
3. Sobbing Phase
This is the stage where the child attempts to cry, sob, whimper, and whine. Some children even sob themselves to sleep eventually. Most children indulge in intense crying and sobbing, which gradually subsides, indicating the child is becoming calmer.
Children often resort to such behavior because of their inability to relate to the emotion that triggered the temper tantrum in the first place. This phase is an indication for parents and caregivers to stop responding to the child’s actions and give them time to settle in themselves.
Subscribe to Kokotree!
Get free parenting tips, news, updates, and content from Kokotree.
4. Reconciliation Phase
This is the final phase of the tantrums and just as the name suggests reconciling or pacifying is the core element of this phase. In this phase, either the toddler becomes quieter and expects parents or caregivers to reassure them, or parents and caregivers try to console them by giving a pat or a warm hug.
Interestingly enough, it is often noticed that by this time, the toddler is totally out of the temper tantrum phase, which could result from physical contact, reassurance by the parent, or better communication.
The time taken to transition from the initial Prodromal phase to the Reconciliation phase varies from toddler to toddler, depending on the intensity of the temper tantrum and the overall emotional well-being of the toddler.
Here’s an interesting take on what happens during a tantrum.
What are some common emotional triggers that can cause toddler temper tantrums?
Tantrums are intense emotions generally out of proportion to any given situation and reflect the stage of development your toddler is going through. Children, usually toddlers, use tantrums to express emotions like anger, fear, dislike, and unmet wants. Initially, it can be challenging to understand the reason behind their tantrums as they need to be more thoroughly familiar with the mediums for expressing their emotions. Still, tantrums are eventually replaced with language and gestures as they grow.
Let us look at a few emotional causes for the onset of temper tantrums in toddlers.
If a toy is broken, chances are that children can consider them as good as being lost. When children lose something they cherish the most, for instance, a special toy, they generally can’t comprehend their own emotions, let alone control them. This could be a possible cause for a temper tantrum.
An emotion that children are primarily clueless about is anger. This is something that they pick up after watching their parents or elders around them, but they need help understanding the reason behind it. The aggression is what makes them curious.
One of the significant causes of temper tantrums in toddlers could be anxiety. When the child is unaware of a certain thing leaving a scope of speculation, they tend to get anxious about circumstances which can often lead to frustration causing temper tantrums. It is similar to that with adults, the only difference being that adults can acknowledge their feelings while children are mostly unaware of this emotion.
Children tend to incline towards favoritism. Because of this, they might initiate a tantrum when they encounter unfavorable situations or things they dislike. If they are offered something which is not something they like, they start showing signs of distaste and might even become hostile for a while.
Even adults can get fussy and cranky over food. It is common for toddlers to become fussy over delays in feed time, feeding with too hot or too cold things to eat or drink, or when they are refused to eat on their own too. It is often noticed that toddlers unaware of hunger can turn irritating by raising tantrums for every small thing.
Situations, places, or people that the toddler is not familiar with can result in temper tantrums and often turn into violent outcries as it is difficult for the child to accept something unfamiliar suddenly. This is a way of expressing their discomfort.
Parents seldom refuse the wants of their children. But as the child grows, it becomes rather difficult to accept everything they say or do. And as the frequency of parents saying ‘No’ to their children keeps growing, so does the frustration in the child who fails to understand the reason. This could be enough for the child to raise a temper tantrum.
Some children become desperate about certain things owing to the reaction from their parents or caregivers. It becomes more of a power struggle for them which they wish to win irrespective of anything, and tantrums are suitable for doing so. This generally happens when they want something which is not being given to them.
Lack of Attention
At times when toddlers are ignored, they tend to be more and more disappointed with their parents. With the evolving environment where everyone is busy, even spending some time in a day with each other, the toddler tends to incline to extreme measures like throwing tantrums to get the attention of those around and doesn’t realize that it might not be the right way to do so.
How to manage toddler temper tantrums.
It wouldn’t be a shock to say that raising a child does not come with an instruction manual and that each child is different regarding throwing tantrums.
If you are raising a toddler and have been judged for raising a spoilt brat, be rest assured that you are just going through a normal phase of parenthood. It is a common misconception among adults that a tantrum-throwing toddler is no less than a spoilt brat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), calm parents, composed and consistent during their toddler’s tantrums, have more chances of making the toddlers feel cherished, protected, and in control than the others.
While there are no specific prescribed ways to manage toddler tantrums, parents often tend to find ways to deal with them.
Here are some tricks that help manage toddler tantrums:
1. Resort to immediate action
Act instantly as soon as your toddler gets into tantrum mode. Stop them immediately and take them out of the situation. Make sure you express to them clearly that it is alright to be angry about something, but throwing a tantrum by kicking, crying, or being violent is unacceptable.
Managing a temper tantrum can be strenuous, especially in a place with strangers, and the best possible solution can be responding at that very moment. Waiting until later can lead to the toddler assuming that they can get things their way or worse if the incident is forgotten.
2. Come up with alternatives
A parent of two says that her younger one gets frustrated when he is not allowed to do things that his 5-year-old elder brother does. And one thing that helped her manage the tantrums of her younger toddler was to offer him alternatives instead.
It is alright sometimes to let your toddler continue throwing a tantrum until you figure out the best alternative you can trade with. For instance, if your toddler is throwing a tantrum to play with your mobile phone, wait until they calm down and then ask them to walk down to the park or make a cookie together. Please ensure that the alternative offered in exchange is exciting enough for the tantrum to end smoothly.
3. Avoid raising your voice
It is a known fact that children learn better from what they see than what they are taught. It is the responsibility of the parent or the caregiver to present the model behavior that they wish their toddler to inculcate. Often, they tend to forget this and indulge in screaming and yelling at the toddler when they throw tantrums. This only strengthens the toddler’s belief in adopting such violent behavior to get whatever they want whenever they want.
If you ever yell at your toddler in the middle of a tantrum, don’t forget to apologize to them later to make them realize that screaming and yelling are untoward and unacceptable. Also, if you start yelling at the toddler during a tantrum, the toddler may feel belittled or ignored.
4. Switch on the fun mode
Going through a temper tantrum can be an exhausting experience for all the parties involved. But it need not always be, so if we can figure out a way to make a fun activity out of it. As much as it is difficult for adults to switch modes from anger to fun, it is the same with toddlers, probably a little more frustrating. It seems like a bizarre way of managing a tantrum.
A toddler’s mother tried doing this, and it worked. Every time her toddler started banging her head on the wall, she would make it a game and start counting the number of times her daughter was banging her head, and then she would do it too but with music in the background. Eventually, this head banging to the rhythm of music became a fun event for both of them rather than a temper tantrum.
5. Hug and kiss them
This could be the last thing you want to do when your child throws a tantrum. It will help them settle down quickly. Try giving a firm hug instead of a cuddle. You will control their body, which will help relax their muscles. It will work better if you don’t talk at all while hugging your child. Otherwise, it will only be a battle of words, and the child’s chances of returning to the tantrum increase.
Once your child has calmed down, kiss them and assure them that you are there to protect them no matter what. This will let them know that what they were trying to do was not the right way to do it and there are better ways of expressing their emotions.
6. Shift the location
When you see your toddler throwing a tantrum in a public place, bringing them to a safer private space like your vehicle or a public restroom is always a good idea. Picking and carrying your toddler is indulging in maintaining physical contact, a comforting technique during violent emotional outbursts. Taking your toddler into another room of your house is also a great way to shift locations to manage their tantrums.
Once you have them away from the original location where the tantrum started, it becomes easier to communicate with them and explain gently to them about your position while remaining calm. However tempting it might seem to stay right there and give in to their wants, it is appreciable to switch the location for better results.
7. Use distractions
The most popular yet underrated technique for managing tantrums is, of course, using distractions. It is a well-known fact that children’s attention span is short, making it relatively easy to divert them. Carrying a bunch of items with you that can help distract them while having tantrums in a public place is one way of doing so. While fast gadgets have become a regular distraction, it is better to have other things.
A mother carries a bag filled with toys, yummy snacks, and books to distract her toddler when he is having a tantrum in a public place. She ensures that she keeps changing the items frequently as they might react differently to different things each time.
8. Ask them for help
One way of making your toddler stop throwing tantrums is by asking them to help you. In public places like grocery stores or malls, give them tasks they will be able to perform. Ask them to help you arrange items in the shopping cart or bring items from a nearby rack. You can also reward them with their favorite things for the help they did instead of offering them a bribe in exchange for stopping their tantrums which will cultivate a bad habit.
Asking our children for help initiates a sense of responsibility, and most consider themselves adults ready to help their parents. Even at home, when they are having a tantrum, you can ask them to help you with small chores around the house, which they can easily handle. You can ask for help making grocery lists or general to-do lists for slightly older children.
9. Stand by your demands
As you see the tantrum fading away, remember to check if the reason for the tantrum is adequately addressed. It so happens that while focusing on subsiding the temper, parents and caregivers often give in to the demands of the toddler involuntarily. If this keeps occurring repeatedly, your toddler will consider it a reliable tool to get whatever they want from you.
Please ensure that once the tantrum has ended, you usually communicate with your toddler and make sure that things are sorted. If your toddler is upset about arranging the toys back in place and kicks off a tantrum to escape it, don’t forget to make your toddler do it after the tantrum is down, and you can then appreciate and reward your toddler accordingly.
It is not easy to manage tantrums. Managing tantrums does not necessarily mean stopping them, at least not always, and it is about helping them calm down by regulating their emotions. Sometimes, parents give in “just this one time” either because they are tempted or too busy to deal with the tantrums. But repeating this frequently can prove disastrous for the child’s overall upbringing.
Managing toddler tantrums, just like parenting, is always complex. However, it is as challenging for toddlers as they struggle to understand and express their emotions clearly.
Read these personal experiences to learn more about managing toddler tantrums.
Developing positive coping mechanisms to deal with toddler temper tantrums.
Remember that kids don’t know the names of emotions and lack the linguistic ability to convey their feelings. Thus, they find it challenging to express their ideas and desires verbally. So, instead of feeling irritated when your child exhibits problematic behavior, try reframing the issue by asking yourself, “What is it that your baby wants, and why is she behaving like that?”, “How can I help her find the right way to express herself?”
Additionally, encourage your child’s positive actions and wise decisions—kids like being recognized for their exemplary behavior. Be as detailed as you can. Say something like, “You did an excellent job,” and praise them for being calm and opting for positive coping mechanisms by saying something like, “You were so good when you did that.” These phrases train your kids about the desired and acceptable behaviors.
Don’t underestimate the power of calming and distraction techniques. If you can smell a tantrum that has not yet developed into a full-blown outburst, show them something fascinating or engage them in a captivating activity. Pour your child a glass of water, ask them to close their eyes, picture a calm and peaceful place, and take deep breaths.
Understanding your toddler’s mindset during temper tantrums.
Toddlers crave freedom and control over their surroundings— more than they can handle. And when they realize they can’t do and get everything as per their wants, they throw tantrums. However, there is more to why kids throw tantrums that you must understand as a parent. The other common causes of sudden outbursts are mainly related to psychological triggers like-
- Lack of sleep
Tantrums should be addressed differently based on why your child is frustrated. You may need to offer comfort at times—especially when you feel they are craving attention and love or are trying to say something you can not understand. Nevertheless, it’s time for a nap or a snack if your little one is tired or starving.
In other cases, ignoring a tantrum or diverting your child’s attention to an engaging activity is preferable. Stay calm, distract your child, ignore tantrums (when necessary), and say yes to meeting their safety and physical needs. However, please only give in to some of their demands, as it may fortify undesired conduct.
Kids may get highly sensitive after tantrums when they realize they haven’t been their cutest selves lately. Now is the moment to hug your child and reassure them that they are loved no matter what. If your child is old enough to talk about it, help them think of alternative ways they may have expressed dissatisfaction.
Self-care strategies for parents and caregivers.
Being a toddler’s babysitter may be gratifying, thrilling, unpredictable, and stressful. It may also be demanding, draining, and worrying at times. Having small kids may frequently bring up a variety of emotions and hardships for you. And it may look like all your energy is draining while carrying out your kids’ responsibilities.
This is when self-care comes into the picture. You must understand that parenting will be effortless and enjoyable only if you are content and healthy. Additionally, you need to realize that self-care isn’t being selfish — it is a way to refuel and recharge to be your best self! So please don’t be guilty.
Here are a few things you can include in your self-care game!
- Exercise regularly to be in good shape and live a healthy lifestyle
- Get some fresh air and a boost of Vitamin D when you feel like it
- Stay hydrated
- Welcome protein-based snacks to your diet
- Grow your network, interact with people (maybe who are just like you— in first-time parent groups)
- Be kind to yourself
- Take enough sleep.
Babysitting means low-quality sleep or no sleep at all. However, if you make your bedroom as restful as possible, take warm baths before bedtime, avoid screens just before bed, and avoid caffeine, you will notice significant positive changes in your sleep cycle.
Develop an environment that encourages open communication between the child and parent/caregiver. Express in a way that involves active speaking and listening, make your children feel valued and understood, give them space, and respect their boundaries— and they will learn what they experience.
Identifying early warning signs of an impending toddler tantrum.
As a parent, you may think it’s your fault when your child throws a tantrum, and it’s not! Tantrums are a distinct stage of child development and don’t happen because you were a failure as a parent or did something wrong.
Thankfully, most tantrums in toddlers are preceded by warning cues that your child is likely to have a breakdown or temper tantrum. Refusal to follow instructions, increased irritability, withdrawal from conversations or activities, and dramatic mood swings are some early warning signals that your child is about to throw a temper tantrum. Verbal cues— whining and repetition of words, clenched fists, and furrowed brows also indicate building frustration.
You can avoid most of these by maintaining and following a routine. Familiar routines offer security and teach your baby expected and acceptable behaviors. Patterns can be as simple as having the same sequence of activities – you reading them a poem before bedtime or singing a song, helping them take a shower, or brushing their teeth.
Maintaining a routine will help your little one understand what’s happening and what will ensue next. Set an age-appropriate bedtime, keep items they can not play with out of their reach or sight, keep them well-fed, respect their feelings, and be empathetic.
Nevertheless, when you see signs of an impending tantrum, try distracting them, be patient, and teach them how to deal with frustration.
Tips on demonstrating patience during a tantrum in toddlers.
Parents sometimes tend to spend most of their time urging their kids to listen and understand them and end up losing their temper in the process. Although losing patience is unavoidable sometimes, children learn and mimic their parents— which is why teaching them to keep calm is one of the finest methods to train them to control their emotions and responses to various situations.
Take note of what causes you to lose your patience, practice mindfulness, and build a foundation of communication and trust. For example, ask them why they don’t want to go instead of yelling at them to get ready for school. Consider letting them know that you are aware of their wish to remain in their comfort zone, and perhaps even try to empathize.
Acknowledge your toddler’s feelings without judgment or criticism while standing firm on any boundary you may have set earlier.
- Use empathy rather than anger when responding to emotions expressed through tantrums.
- Take a break if needed by counting down silently before intervening
- Practice active listening methods
- Remain consistent with disciplinary actions while avoiding power struggles over every issue brought up during the tantrum period
There is no ideal technique for raising a child and keeping calm all the time is challenging. But some parenting skills like empathy, understanding, mindfulness, and patience make parenting much more effortless and manageable.
Seeking professional help.
Every child acts out at some point in their life. They may irritate others, interrupt them, conduct temper tantrums, or break the rules. However, when these concerns become troublesome or the behavioral issues worsen, your child’s activities may signal a more severe condition. If you notice your child’s conduct affects their social life, they are defying to be disciplined, or are immature for their age— it’s essential to consult with your child’s physician or a mental health specialist.
Create an action plan with an expert working with young children. Consider consulting a mental health professional who can offer advice on sensory input regulation strategies and tips on tailoring effective home systems so your toddler can achieve healthy emotional development — leading them into successful adulthood.
Meeting with a qualified expert does not indicate that your child is stupid or that you are a terrible parent. Disruptive behaviors are complex and need to be closely examined.
Therefore, seeking professional advice is crucial rather than solely focusing on coping mechanisms. Child behavior specialists can detect or rule out any mental health concerns that may be causing the behavior issues, like oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Alongside, sometimes, for whatever reason, kids need exceptional support or a different style of supervision to achieve their full potential.
How to prevent toddler temper tantrums?
Although applying these techniques while the toddler is at a temper tantrum is an excellent idea, getting to the root and preventing tantrums is always better. After all, isn’t prevention better than cure?
Here are some ideas that can help in the prevention of temper tantrums in toddlers:
1. Make sure your child gets proper attention.
Lack of attention can most significantly trigger a temper tantrum in your toddler. Spending quality time with your toddler, listening to them, understanding their world, and helping them cope with their emotions are great ways of providing attention to your child.
Children constantly look for acknowledgment, validation, and appreciation like adults. Praising your child for small acts or rewarding them for a good deed can boost their confidence and help prevent them from throwing tantrums.
Thanking your child for helping you with little chores can also be a great way of paying attention to your child’s actions. Never let your child feel that parents are just around to stop them from doing what they wish or punish them for things that go wrong.
2. Have a child-safe environment
Parents’ and caregivers’ prime prerogative is ensuring their child is raised in a safe environment. Being safe from physical and emotional disasters makes the struggle much more accessible. As much as parents try, keeping them safe from physical disasters is impossible. It is the same with emotional disasters, especially when the toddler is still unsure of the emotions and cannot possibly express them appropriately.
Emotional disasters can be avoided by maintaining healthy physical contact with the child through hugs, cuddles, holding their hand, carrying them in your arms, or even kissing them. Such actions make them inclined towards you, reducing the chances of adopting violent behavior when they want something.
3. Pick your battles wisely
Every parent wishes to be a ‘Yes Man’ to their child, but as the toddler grows, they have to don the role of a ‘No Man’ too. Children who are not used to being said NO quite often or the ones who cannot take refusal of their demands in the right way tend to become more cranky and temperamental.
One way to prevent this is to carefully consider their requests or demands before accepting or rejecting them outright. Better still, you can explain to your toddler why you get or refuse their request. Despite being cautious, if you have to pick battles with your child, choose them wisely.
Know which ones to stick to and which ones to let go of. A parent can never get away by constantly refusing everything the child requests for. This might even make children behave adamantly and ask for things they don’t want but do so for the heck of it.
4. Try and make your child feel in control
You can start making your child feel in control by offering options to which they can relate. Ask them to choose their outfit for the day among the opportunities you present, ask if they would like to have cereal or bread for breakfast, and ask if they want to brush their teeth before or after a short walk around the house. You can begin with things that don’t matter much and gradually increase the intensity.
Making your child feel in control of their choices works well in allowing them to express themselves and teaches them to be self-reliant. By doing so, you are reducing the possibility of your child breaking into frequent tantrums and allowing them the liberty to make their own decisions.
This is also one fantastic way to assess if your child is hungry, thirsty, sleepy, tired, bored, stressed, excited, or annoyed with something.
5. Help them to express their emotions better
Teaching your child about emotions through language and gestures is a great way to help them express their feelings clearly. Often children cannot regulate negative emotions and tend to break out into tantrums to vent those negative feelings. They will not throw tantrums if they are taught alternate ways to share and express their feelings.
Try and teach them to voice out their requests. Toddlers can be great at communicating through gestures and signals, and it will be futile to reason out with them while they are having a tantrum. Ask them if they are upset about something and try to listen to them carefully to reason with them.
With a bit of attention, parents can identify triggers that can cause temper tantrums in their toddlers. Frequent conversations with your toddler and asking them how they feel after a particular instance can educate you more about their emotions.
6. Set up routines and stick to plans
Believe it or not, adults may be experts at setting up routines and sticking to plans, but we should not discount our toddlers away from it. More often than not, toddlers prefer sticking to routines than otherwise. You can start with setting up their morning routine, a food routine, a playtime/book reading routine, and even a bedtime routine. Children get excited and look forward to these routines until they find something more distractingly interesting.
Merely setting up routines is not going to do the trick, and it has to be backed up by sticking to the plan. This means parents must make themselves available and present in such routine tasks until the child outgrows the routine or shifts to a better one. Setting up routines for regular tasks and sticking to them is a tried and tested way of preventing tantrum traps.
It is always better to prevent your child from throwing temper tantrums, but it is not entirely unavoidable. With a bit of attention and care, parents will be able to recognize triggers that can initiate tantrums. If you know your child will be upset about something, be open to giving a good reason for the situation and offer them alternatives or distractions to prevent a tantrum.
How to cope with toddler temper tantrums as a parent?
Staying calm when your child is having a tantrum can be challenging yet rewarding. This will not only give them a glimpse of the model behavior that is expected of them but also aid them in expressing their emotions in a better way. Adults can be just as vulnerable as children after a temper tantrum because it can be equally stressful for ourselves and the child involved in the situation. But don’t worry; with patience and understanding, we can help our children navigate this phase and make it less stressful for everyone.
Accepting the process.
It takes time and parental support for toddlers to reach the stage where they can comprehend their emotions entirely. Accepting that it is a time-taking process for a child to grow from the tantrum phase to the no-tantrum phase is the first and foremost thing a parent needs to do. This is where one of their most vital virtues, patience, is tested.
Allowing the child to comprehend their emotions.
Allowing your child to comprehend their emotions before you act upon them is something you can incorporate as a regime to cope with their tantrums. This could include believing that no matter how good a parent you are, you can never completely control your child’s emotions or behavior, at least not directly. The best you can do is to provide them with a safe environment where they can explore and interpret their feelings and express them to you openly.
Trying to recollect times when they behaved well for which they could have been rewarded or praised well by you can help in shunning away from any latent negative vibe you might be brewing out of them—as a parent, balancing actions in response to your children is all about balancing acts and activities.
Fun and exciting activities.
Indulging in various exciting and fun activities with your toddler will widen your scope of better understanding their emotions during such activities. You can closely watch how they react to different situations during such group activities. Consider this as thorough research on a topic before attempting an exam. Parenting can never be less than one, though. This can also help you relate to your emotions during such activities, which might trigger tantrums in your toddler.
Practice mindfulness. Being mindful of our surroundings and the people around us can always turn out to be beneficial in so many ways. Be aware of your environment and allow yourself to do things that ease your stress. Some people think walking alone helps, and listening to music or catering to a hobby can also help with mindfulness. Please pick up any small activity and ensure you are there and your thoughts are away from the child or their tantrums.
Planning and communicating.
Planning and communicating the same to your child could be a great initiative in coping with tantrums. If you have a place you need to go to or wish to cook something special, and you know that your child might object to it, make sure to sit down with them and include them in planning those things. They might express their disagreement, but you can ask them to help you with the planning. This way, you will be more relaxed while the activity is happening and not stress yourself out anticipating a temper tantrum from your child.
Refraining from assuming.
Refrain from assuming your child is using tantrums to manipulate you to agree to their requests. Come to terms with the fact that they are not doing it deliberately to cause trouble to you. It could eventually become a regular bad habit if necessary steps are not taken in time. Thinking that they are doing, it wanted to upset you will only add to your stress. There are times when they might be doing it deliberately.
Connect with other parents.
Be a part of communities or groups where you can share your experiences with other parents. Humans thrive on validation. When you know that there is someone who can acknowledge your feelings, empathize with what you are going through, and offer suggestions, it can be a great source of support and encouragement. Joining parenting groups or online forums can be a great way to connect with other parents who are going through similar experiences.
Remember that every child is different; what works for one child may not work for another. It is essential to be flexible and open to different approaches when dealing with temper tantrums. Feel free to try new methods or techniques if you feel something needs to be fixed for your child.
Coping with toddler temper tantrums as a parent can be challenging. Still, with patience, understanding, and support, it is possible to manage and even prevent them from happening. Remember to stay calm, allow your child to express their emotions, and practice mindfulness and self-care to help you cope. And most importantly, remember that you are not alone in this journey; resources and support are available to help you navigate this challenging phase of parenting.
Temper tantrums and the development of your toddler.
Is all this talk making you wonder if temper tantrums are that bad?
Honestly speaking, not at all. They are as common as toddlers learning to crawl or roll over their stomachs. Every toddler throws temper tantrums, and the frequency and intensity might vary depending on their environment. Giving in to your toddler every time a tantrum is thrown or refusing everything your toddler demands after throwing a tantrum are both robust solutions that need to be avoided for your toddler to grow well emotionally.
Toddlers begin to throw temper tantrums between 12 to 16 months of age, gradually fading away until they turn 5 – 7 years of age. Every child takes a different path and time to settle in without tantrums. Allowing them space and time is the best thing parents can do while figuring it out themselves.
With the levels of stress adults are going through these days, it is not surprising if they indulge in throwing tantrums too. But if that reflects on their child’s behavior, then it is better to look out for coping mechanisms to control their own emotions before they work on the temper tantrums of their toddler.
There are many chances for these tantrums to transition into destructive, violent, and dangerous actions if proper consideration is not taken into account. If children use tantrums frequently as a tool to get whatever they want even after they turn 5 to 7 years old by-
- Trying to injure or harm themselves,
- Displaying violent behavior toward others,
- Finding it difficult to learn and adopt coping mechanisms,
- Holding their breath or fainting during a tantrum
Then it is probably time to seek professional help from early intervention, mental health experts, or pediatricians who can guide you about the child’s physical or psychological concerns.
Final thoughts. Wrapping up.
Temper tantrums mostly fade away as the child grows old. Children might not even remember that they threw tantrums as a toddler after they grow up. But, chances are that they will indeed remember how they were treated during the tantrums. This will form the basis of their opinion of you as a parent. If this seems scary, then all you have to do as a parent is to try and make them realize that you are there to make them feel safe, loved, cared and happy.
Children, especially toddlers, can get way too cranky when they are in and out of tantrums. Not all tantrums will be easy to handle, and some might become nightmares. It is also true that if tantrums last long, they might impact your child’s overall behavior and emotional well-being of your child, making it imperative to check your child’s behavior and interaction constantly.
It can be perplexing for a parent to determine whether a temper tantrum is emotional, triggered out of a negative feeling, or non-emotional, a deliberate attempt at getting what they want. Although there are no fixed solutions to simplify it, and there hasn’t been a discovery made yet that can give away the kind of tantrum the child is throwing, spending more quality time with children can result in parents having a better understanding of their emotions and identifying triggers before tantrums are thrown out.
Raising children can make parents feel overworked and drained, which impacts their judgment when their child is having a tantrum. When parents are blinded by their emotions, they ignore their child’s tantrums. Ignoring a tantrum can prove extremely dangerous for the child and the parent in the later stages of parenting. Paying a little attention to the triggers can act as leverage in ignoring some, if not all, the tantrums thrown by your child.
Parenting can only be complete with a few ‘ifs’ and ‘buts,’ making the enduring experience more cherishable as children grow into adults. It is like a challenging adventure for parents and children, and the need to acknowledge each other’s efforts keeps them going. Annoying as it might seem, there is only definite way of escaping toddler tantrums if your child is a born monk and doesn’t care much about anything, which is highly impossible. The best way is to try and make the most out of life while at it.
While words can only soothe you to a certain extent and make you forget your miseries of being a parent for some time, this fascinating piece can cheer you up a little—a story of how a mother tackled her toddler’s tantrum with a simple trick!
Taming Toddler Tantrums: Additional Resources
As young children grow, they begin to test their boundaries while also experiencing new emotions and challenges, which can lead to certain phases of aggressive behavior. Our expert team at Taming Toddler Tantrums is here to guide you through this complex journey by providing valuable insights into the underlying theories behind aggression and emotional expression in children.
By implementing research-driven strategies and understanding the critical role of respectful communication, we can work together to create a supportive and safe space for our little ones to learn, grow, and thrive.
Discover effective strategies on how to get your toddler to stop hitting, helping them develop better communication skills and self-control.
Learn how to address toddler whining effectively in our latest blog post, including proven strategies to handle those challenging moments.
Discover effective strategies for dealing with toddler hitting and learn how to teach your child better ways to express their emotions and frustrations.
Teaching toddlers to express emotions and communicate their needs is essential for their social and emotional development. Learn tips and techniques in this blog post.
Explore the reasons behind toddler crying and discover effective strategies to manage and address these emotional outbursts in our insightful blog post.
Explore toddler aggression and learn when to worry about this common behavior, as we discuss its causes, signs, and effective ways to address it.
Discover effective tips to soothe and calm a crying toddler, making life easier for both parents and children. Learn essential strategies for a happier home.
Explore effective strategies to curb toddler biting behavior with this insightful blog post, helping parents and caregivers understand and address the issue.
Discover practical solutions to help toddlers who throw toys instead of playing, encouraging a positive change in their behavior for a harmonious playtime.
Teaching toddlers to be respectful and considerate to others is crucial for their social development. Learn the reasons why it’s important and how to teach them through practical tips.
Discover how to address the Toddler Licking Everything Phase with helpful tips and tricks to keep your curious child safe while encouraging their development.
Discover effective strategies for dealing with a toddler not listening, as we explore ways to improve communication and foster better behavior in young children.
Discover how to help toddlers express their emotions through art and nurture their creativity. Boost their emotional intelligence with these fun activities.
Discover effective solutions to help your toddler stop biting their nails in our latest blog post about Toddler Biting Nails: Solutions.
Toddler temper tantrum FAQ for parents.
No matter how many guides and resources you skim through as parents, bringing up a child remains challenging. We understand the number of unanswered questions you must have regarding toddler tantrums and have, thus, created the most comprehensive list of frequently asked questions from parents like you.
What triggers a temper tantrum in toddlers?
It is important to remember that tantrums do not necessarily mean that your kid is being defiant. Various factors, such as frustration, boredom, hunger, fatigue, or feeling overwhelmed, can trigger temper tantrums. They can also be triggered by conflict or lack of control over the outcome.
How long do temper tantrums typically last?
Temper tantrums usually last from a few minutes to an hour or more. The length of the tantrum will depend on how quickly the toddler can calm down and process the emotions that caused the outburst in the first place. Additionally, how you deal with their tantrums as parents/caregivers also impacts the duration of their outbursts.
What is the best way to handle a temper tantrum?
The best way to handle a temper tantrum is to stay calm and offer comfort and reassurance while maintaining expectations for appropriate behavior. It is essential to avoid giving in to demands during this time, as this may encourage further outbursts.
Moreover, could you understand the trigger and the reason for the outburst rather than assuming it? Understanding the trigger will help you and your toddler manage tantrums better.
What are some strategies for preventing temper tantrums?
There are several strategies that parents can use to help prevent temper tantrums. Parents should try to recognize the triggers for their toddler’s outbursts and take proactive measures to avoid situations that can trigger the toddler. Additionally, ensuring their toddler’s basic needs, such as food, sleep, and attention, can go a long way in reducing unexpected outbursts.
Should I ignore my toddler when they have a temper tantrum?
No, it is essential not to ignore your child when they are having a temper tantrum. Instead, stay calm and offer comfort while maintaining expectations of appropriate behavior. Ignoring your child during this time may only make the situation worse. Once they are relaxed, try to communicate with them to see what triggered them in the first place.
Will my toddler outgrow temper tantrums?
Yes, most toddlers will eventually outgrow temper tantrums and learn to express themselves better and manage their emotions more effectively as they age. However, if you notice abnormal behavior or a delay in your toddler’s development, please consult a child psychiatrist.
What should I do if my toddler has a temper tantrum in public?
If your toddler has a temper tantrum in public, staying calm and moving away from the situation as soon as possible is best. It may also be helpful to distract them with toys or other activities that can help shift their focus away from whatever triggered the outburst. Avoid overreacting or screaming at them in public, as that can impact them psychologically.
How can I help my toddler learn how to cope with negative emotions?
Helping your child cope with negative emotions starts with teaching them how to recognize those feelings and using positive reinforcement when they practice appropriate behavior. Additionally, modeling healthy coping strategies yourself can go a long way in helping your child learn how to manage difficult situations.
What should I do if my toddler won’t stop crying?
If your toddler refuses to stop crying, it is crucial to stay calm and take a few deep breaths. Please give me some reassurance and comfort while listening to your child’s needs. You can also try distracting them with fun activities like reading a book or playing with a toy. Hugging them tightly works wonders at times to relax their tense muscles.
What are some common triggers for toddler temper tantrums?
Common triggers for toddler temper tantrums include hunger, fatigue, boredom, feeling overwhelmed, or disrupting their routine. Other emotional factors, such as fear or frustration, may also be contributors.
Are temper tantrums a sign of bad behavior in toddlers?
No, temper tantrums are developmentally normal and do not necessarily indicate bad behavior in toddlers. A child’s inability to express themselves verbally and adequately regulate their emotions can cause them to react with outbursts.
How can I teach my toddler to communicate their needs and wants effectively?
One way to teach your toddler to communicate effectively is through simple language and gestures. Please encourage them to use words or signs to express their needs and wants and respond positively when they do. You can also teach your toddler to use a visual schedule to help them understand what is happening throughout the day, which can reduce frustration and confusion.
What are some activities that can help reduce stress in toddlers?
Activities that can help reduce stress in toddlers include playing games, drawing, singing, dancing, and reading. Physical activities such as running, jumping, and climbing can also help reduce stress and release pent-up energy. Nature walks, gardening, and playing with pets can also help to reduce stress.
What can I do to help my toddler, who is easily frustrated?
To help a toddler who is easily frustrated, it’s essential to identify the triggers and try to avoid them. Give your child simple instructions, set realistic expectations, and offer positive reinforcement when they complete a task. Encourage your child to take a break and engage in a calming activity like deep breathing or listening to music.
How can I teach my toddler to manage their emotions?
Teaching your toddler to manage their emotions can involve helping them identify and label their feelings, encouraging them to express themselves through art or play, and modeling healthy coping strategies. It can also teach them to take deep breaths and engage in calming activities like music or reading a book.
What are some signs that my toddler may need a break?
Signs that your toddler may need a break include crying, whining, becoming clingy or overly sensitive, and getting easily frustrated. They may also become more active or fidgety or withdraw from activities they usually enjoy.
Can an underlying condition cause temper tantrums?
Sometimes, temper tantrums may be caused by an underlying condition, such as a developmental delay, autism, ADHD, or other mental health disorder. If your child’s tantrums are severe, frequent, or prolonged, it’s worth seeking the advice of a pediatrician or a child psychologist.
What are the best ways to set and enforce boundaries with my toddler?
Setting and enforcing boundaries with your toddler is an essential aspect of parenting. One way to do this is by using clear and consistent language. For example, using phrases such as “no” or “stop” can help your child understand when their behavior is inappropriate. It is also important to consistently follow through with consequences when boundaries are not respected. Another way is using visual aids such as charts or pictures to help them understand limits, rules, and expectations.
Can temper tantrums affect my toddler’s development?
Temper tantrums are a normal part of toddler development and do not typically hurt a child’s overall development. However, if tantrums are frequent, severe, or prolonged, they can make it difficult for your child to learn and make social connections. In this case, it’s essential to seek the advice of a pediatrician or a child psychologist.
What should I do when my toddler’s temper tantrum turns violent?
If a toddler’s temper tantrum turns violent, it’s essential to stay calm and remove any potential objects or hazards they could use to hurt themselves or others. Refraining from physical discipline or punishment is also necessary, as this can escalate the situation. Instead, you can redirect the child’s attention to another activity or provide comfort and reassurance. If the violent tantrums continue, it’s best to seek the help of a professional.
What are the effects of tantrums on parents?
Tantrums can be stressful and exhausting for parents, who may feel overwhelmed by the child’s behavior. Parents may experience feelings of guilt, frustration, and helplessness. Parents must practice self-care and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. It’s also important to remember that tantrums are a normal part of child development and that they will eventually outgrow them.
Can temper tantrums be a sign of a lack of discipline?
No, temper tantrums are a normal part of child development and not a sign of a lack of discipline. It’s important to understand that tantrums are a child’s way of expressing their feelings and communicating their needs when they cannot do so verbally. However, consistent and appropriate discipline can help to reduce the frequency and severity of tantrums.