Are toddler tantrums a part of your daily life? For most of us with little ones, they are a fact of life. While this can be a difficult season of motherhood, there are several tricks that can help make days with toddlers easier on mama and toddler.
Here are a few tricks and reminders for surviving the tantrum years!
Remain Calm – This can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, but try not to let the tantrums affect your mood! Keeping your cool goes a long way to helping your toddler find his calm place again.
Know that they are inevitable – You are a great mom, even when your kid has tantrums. All kids have tantrums, it’s how they process life before they get a good handle on their emotions. It doesn’t mean they are bad kids, or even that they are brats. Tantrums are just a child’s way of dealing with emotion. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach them better ways to deal, but instead it allows us to let go of the guilt that engulfs us when we become that mom in the middle of the grocery store with a screaming kiddo.
Assess – It is important to know what type of tantrum you are dealing with. Is it anger? Sadness? Regression because of a recent household change? A cry for attention? All of these reasons are normal, but you can deal with each of them in different ways. Cries for attention, I ignore the tantrum but make a point to spend one on one time with that child when things have calmed down. Sadness means extra hugs and comfort. Anger is time to talk through it and reason with them (whenever possible). Regression is endured and dealt with in the above ways as well.
Reason with them – Reasoning with a toddler is never easy, but if you are able to explain in a calm way what is expected of the child or what he is doing wrong, this can help him remember more quickly the way that is best to behave. In the heat of the moment (especially after his sister was born) my son frequently forgets himself and goes back to whining, screaming and tantrum-ing. A simple reminder to “use your calm words” or “I can’t understand you when you scream”, helps him get back on track.
Eliminate them – I know that sounds impossible but you really can drastically reduce the number of tantrums your toddler has by using this simple trick!
Remember you have a great kid – Tantrums drive me crazy, I may understand them and be able to empathize with my little one, but that doesn’t make it fun to endure the ear-splitting screams or sobs multiple times a day. Take that moment, even if it’s at the end of the day when the toddler is fast asleep, to remember what a wonderful kid they are. Brush back their hair, look into their calm face as they rest and know that even if today was a horrible day, better days are coming. The tantrum years don’t last forever!