The Key to Stopping Tantrums:
The most important tool for putting an end to tantrums is consistency! Young children are wired to learn by experience. They learn that when a bowl tips, it spills; when a tower of blocks gets pushed, it falls over; when a ball drops, it bounces; all without ever being told! They learn these facts because the outcome is consistently the same! When trying to end tantrums, it’s vital to consistently give your child the same outcome.
How to Stop Tantrums By Being Consistent:
- Consistently Refuse to Reward Tantrums: There are many reasons parents give in to tantrums. Tantrums can be time consuming, noisy, and in public they can be down-right embarrassing! (Share your child’s most embarrassing tantrum). No matter the reason you may want to give in to your child during a tantrum, don’t do it! By giving in to even a few tantrums you are teaching your toddler that he/she can get what he/she wants by throwing a fit!
- Consistently Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings: As people, we all want to be understood… including toddlers! By acknowledging your child’s feelings you help take the emotional weight off of your child and put him or her in a position to begin calming down! Use simple, repetitive language and a calm voice to explain you understand the situation. Example: “You are mad. You are mad because you want to stay at the park. You want to stay and play at the park. But we can’t stay, we have to go home. We have to go home and that is why you are mad.”
- Consistently Let Your Toddler Know What Behavior Is Acceptable: When toddlers are overwhelmed or frustrated, a tantrum comes naturally. When a tantrum is over, calmly and simply explain what behaviors do work well in that situation. Over time your toddler will begin to catch on. Example: “If you need more to drink, ask me. No need to throw a fit. You can say, ‘More drink please’ if you need a drink.”
- Consistently Stay Calm: It’s easy to get frustrated when your toddler is throwing a fit. Remember not to feed any negative energy into your toddler’s tantrum though. This won’t help calm a tantrum in the moment and it won’t help prevent them in the future!
- Consistently Look For Opportunities to Praise: Toddlers will repeat whatever behavior seems to get mom and dad’s attention the most! Make sure the behavior you seem to be noticing is good. Look for times when your toddler isn’t having a temper tantrum and praise your little one’s behavior! That way you draw your child’s attention to good choices