I had to wonder to myself whether rewarding her daughter's screaming with a chocolate biscuit was really a successful solution. I am yet to experience a tantrum with my son but I can appreciate how stressful they can be for a parent and that every mum wants something that will fix the situation fast.
We all know tantrums are a toddler's expression of frustration, growing independence and sometimes a demand for attention. They are a challenging side of parenting and an exercise in our own self-control and patience. From what I've read, the overriding pieces of advice for dealing with tantrums seem to be as follows:
- Ignore the child's outburst as much as possible.
- Avoid yelling or making a scene and try to stay calm.
- Distract the child with something else.
Once over, the tantrum should be forgotten and a hug given to the child. Praising good behaviour and allowing your child to have choices when possible are thought to help towards minimising the number of tantrums.
Sometimes it will be simply tiredness or hunger that cause a tantrum. Hunger should be easily dealt with if you carry snacks and a drink with you when you are out and ensure your child's been fed before a supermarket trip or other visit where you want to avoid a melt-down. Tiredness can be harder to control if you're doing something out of their usual routine, like travelling or attending a wedding for example. We all have those days when our children refuse to take a nap and sometimes there's just nothing you can do!
There are no easy answers for dealing with trying toddlers. The best thing we can do as parents is to try to be calm around them, identify what might have caused a tantrum so we can address it if it's related to food, tiredness or them needing help with a task and remember that it is after all a stage in their development and won't last!
How do you deal with toddler tantrums? Do you have any advice to share to other mums?