Toddler tantrums and discipline

You may find that as your toddler gets older and more independent, that tantrums become part of normal life. While some parents deal with tantrums daily, others may experience them far less frequently.

No matter how prone to tantrums your child is, you can do something about them to help your child all the while providing discipline and guidance.

As long as you can do so while maintaining your set limits, it is a good idea to try to avoid tantrums. If you have to make your child do something he or she does not want to do, try to approach the subject as delicately as possible. If you notice your child is getting upset or frustrated with something, try to help without overstepping. Try to offer alternatives and avoid drastic terms such as "don’t" and "must".

If your child is having a tantrum, it is important to keep him or her safe, and not allow them to damage anything or harm themselves. The tantrum itself scares the child, and if you sit quietly with him or her, holding them, you will notice they calm down, relax, and their screams turn into quiet sobs. The child will see that you are still there and nothing has changed.

Try to remain as calm as possible at all times

If you find your child cannot be held or that holding them makes the tantrum worse, do not try to restrain him or her. Just remove dangerous objects and ride out the storm. Do not try to argue with your child, as there is no reasoning during a tantrum. Do not yell or scream back at them as this will only frighten him or her more. Try to remain as calm as possible at all times.

Once the tantrum is over, do not punish or reward the child. Nothing at all should change. If you were planning on going somewhere before the tantrum, continue on as you were before the fit.

Finally, do not let tantrums run your life or embarrass you into handling your child with kid gloves. Many parents find themselves fearful of tantrums starting in public, but you cannot let your child know you worry about this.

Do not let tantrums run your life or embarrass you

If you are afraid of taking your child with you to the store for fear he or she will throw a tantrum for a new toy, or if you become overly nice and accommodating when visitors stop by for fear of an outburst, your toddler will realize what is happening, and that they can control your behaviour. Once this is realized by the child, he or she will learn how to use tantrums to get what they want, and how to work him or herself into a frenzy when it suits them.

Remember, tantrums are nothing to worry about, and really nothing to fear as long as the child is not in any danger of hurting him or herself. They will become lessened with time, and as the child continues to grow and mature, you will notice the stop all together. Knowing how to remain calm, cope, and provide effective discipline in the mean time are the most important keys to managing tantrums.

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