Dealing with Temper Tantrums

Whether in the middle of the grocery store aisle or in the privacy of your own living room, every parent dreads temper tantrums. Even if your toddler is mild-mannered, at some point, they are bound to throw a fit about something. So, what can you do to prevent this behavior, and how can you put an end to it?

It is important to keep in mind that most professionals and health experts believe that temper tantrums are completely normal and associated with healthy development of independent thought. But, those experts aren’t going to be there to help you deal with the kicking, screaming, and tears, are they?

It’s easy to be frustrated when you’re trying to deal with these outbursts, but there’s no need to feel like there’s nothing you can do about it. We all want to help our children successfully overcome this phase and support healthy emotional development. And while it would be nice to have a magic wand to make the tantrums go away once and for all, there are several practical tips and techniques to keep in mind that can help both you and your little one.

Triggers
Pay attention to the things that trigger a tantrum in your child, and try to avoid them. Do they become extra emotional when they are tired? Is there a particular activity that prompts emotional outbursts?

Time-outs
Placing the child in isolation for a few minutes (depending on their age and level of maturity) can often diffuse an emotional situation and help them to get over their anger.

Talk
For many toddlers, tantrums are a way to get attention. With older children, it can be helpful to talk about their feelings and learn why they are acting out. With a parent’s undivided attention, many toddlers quickly calm down and the situation can be easily resolved.

In the end, most experts will tell you that the best way to deal with tantrums is by avoiding them in the first place. Easier said than done, you say? By paying attention to triggers and enforcing immediate consequences for inappropriate behavior, you can help to ensure that tantrums don’t become a habitual way for your toddler to get your attention.

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Jennifer Brown is a mama and an MD who enjoys finding fun in the chaos that comes with being a working mommy. Balancing the effort it takes to raise two adorable boys and juggle a thriving medical career, Jennifer also loves baking cookies, taking photos, reading fiction, and drinking coffee.

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