How to handle Toddler Tantrums
How to handle toddler tantrums is a topic discussed between my mums group frequently.
For months I had nothing much to add to the conversation, my little ray of sunshine was pretty calm – oh lucky me! Until, well, that changed. And you don’t really know a toddler tantrum until you’ve experienced one from your own.
For years before I became a mum I’d witnessed the supermarket meltdowns, the parents standing in despair as their little treasures would throw themselves on to the floor and scream blue murder.
“What bad parents!” I’d thought. “Pick that child up and tell it off!”. Like it was that easy. How naive and judgmental I was! Don’t worry, I learned my lesson.
So now as the parent of a nearly 3 year old, do I know the answer to curing toddler tantrums? Well unfortunately I do not but I do have some advice from some wonderful mums that might help. Along with some funny stories!
And let’s face it, when you’re faced with an out-of-nowhere, hysterical, un-moving tantruming toddler of your own, you’ll try anything to extinguish it!
Over to the ‘experts’:
“When my 3 year old is having a tantrum I tell him I love him and that I need a cuddle. It stops him straight away and he always gives me the cuddle with a ‘luh you mummy’!”
From Sian at Quite Frankly She Said
“Toddler tantrums are stressful at the best of times and even more so when they happen in public. Trying to keep your cool and ignoring the behaviour can be difficult but sometimes you just need to let them get it out of their system – no matter where you are.
When Roo was about 2 1/2 years old we were shopping in the supermarket. She was sitting in the seat of the trolley having a good tantrum (cue the screaming, red face with arms and legs going all over the place). As I was waiting at the checkout she was in full flow and suddenly there was a tap on my shoulder from a shop assistant who asked if I’d like to move to another checkout as it might be quicker. I turned and replied ‘she is not the first child to have a tantrum and she won’t be the last’. She screamed through the whole checkout/payment but had calmed herself down by the time I’d loaded the trolley and left the store.”
Sarah at Boo Roo & Tigger Too
“My daughter has new shoes. They’re size 5, patent black, and have a butterfly embroidered on each toe. If I were 17 months old, I’d be totally jealous. As it is, I’m 17 months multiplied by 22 (no need to work it out – the answer is oldmaaaan), and I still think they’re damn cute. (Not quite so taken by the flashing red lights in the heels, but she’s mesmerised).
We went swimming today, and everything was going swimmingly (yep, I totally did), until it came to getting changed. At home she had been insanely excited about putting on her new costume, but when the moment came… She didn’t want to remove those shoes (I sort of didn’t blame her).
So, bearing in mind I was reasoning with a one year old, how did I resolve this dilemma? I’d love to impart some sage pearls of wisdom at this juncture – but instead I shall tell you what actually went down…
I sent up a vague (disingenuous) prayer for help, and a divine intervention of serendipity followed: The cubicle next to us broke out into a song from my daughter’s Sing and Sign class, which was enough to distract her from the shoes long enough to get her changed (kids are fickle at this age).
Of all things though, I’m not sure why this is the prayer that was chosen to be answered. Mind you, I did recently wish for some butterfly embroidered shoes (size 5) with a smashing heel…”
Kate at The Less-Refined Mind
And finally, I love this post from Beth at Twinderelmo who lists the 37 things her toddler threw a tantrum over…in one day!
For me, I find distraction works the best and when a tantrum commences I try my best to think of something to change the subject as quickly as possible along the lines of “Look at that!” or “Who did you play with at daycare today?”
I frantically try and think of something (anything!) that will make her switch her mind to thinking about something else and forget what she was throwing a fit about seconds before.
I always try my best to keep my voice calm and speak slowly to her if she is very wound up. Matching her pitch and volume just leads to her getting more worked up.
It works a lot of the time – not all though! Generally a biscuit (!) helps if everything else fails. Bad bad mummy!
Do you have any advice on how to handle toddler tantrums?
Or do you have any funny stories of your own?