Tempering Toddler Tantrums

When your baby becomes a toddler, it’s really a very exciting period for both of you. You will discover that your baby is much more interesting as a personality in their own right. But you have to take the good with the bad. Your toddler maybe developing their very own personality and becoming more intrigued with the world around them every day, but at the same time – they are more likely to have meltdowns where screaming hissy fits are made to look tame.

It’s important to recognize the triggers of a toddler tantrum and to preempt them if you can. A quick refresher is that there are four common triggers to look for:

  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Boredom
  • Frustration

Preempt, Prevent, Ignore, Remove

Those are your four catchwords for the toddler tantrum. The first, preempt is described above. Avoid heading out for activities or others when your child is deeply tired or hungry. They should have food and a nap. You can do your errands in the morning after they have first woken up and are much more likely to be cooperative. Consider bringing along snacks or a toy they aren’t playing with daily – this will help alleviate hunger and boredom while on the move.

Your toddler may fall asleep in the car if they are that tired, if that’s the case – be aware that constant in and outs will likely elicit a tiny toddler explosion at some point. So judge your errands accordingly. If you can do several from the car – i.e. running through the drive-thru window at the bank – every extra minute of sleep helps.

But let’s say that pre-empting and prevention doesn’t work and you still end up with a toddler who is throwing themselves down and screaming their lungs out. You can ignore the behavior. More often than not, your child is demanding a reaction from you – positive or negative – they want a reaction.

When you deny them a reaction by failing to be impressed, upset or even fazed by their screaming fit – many times the toddler will cease because they don’t see the point. This is a hard attitude to adopt, especially when you are out and about and other people are involved.

Finally, if you can’t redirect or pretending to ignore it doesn’t seem to work, abandon your grocery shopping or errands and carry your little one back to the car. It could be they want to be snuggled or cuddled or simply out of there. I’ve seen toddlers affected by lights that were too bright or too many sounds or too many scents and it overloads them. This can be the source of their upset – removing them from the situation can improve their mood dramatically.

How do you temper your toddler’s tantrums?

Related Articles:

Stay in Control – Toddler Trouble

Pay Attention to Me: Toddlers & Telephones

Toddler Antics: Do You Have a Little Nudist?

This entry was posted in 18-24 Months and tagged , , by Heather Long. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.