Your little baby is not so little anymore. As your child grows and their mind develops, they blossom into their own personality. You will notice that your child portrays characteristics and traits unique to their own self. This is all great and wonderful in the world of parenthood. However, this new recognition of self tends to trigger an obstacle. The Toddler Tantrums. Yes, as your child begins to gain independence they also wish to exercise it. With independence comes a few, “Oh, honey that is not for you.” or “We don’t touch those.”, to which you are rewarded with a full on tantrum. So, lets chat about How to Tame Your Toddler Tantrums for Good!
As soon as your little one recognizes they are their own person, they will also want to venture on their own as well. This can include peeping into the laundry basket to see what is over the edge, to attempting to dress themselves. Its a learning experience. Now, these actions are rather cute. However, there are the new leaps and bounds we do not wish our child to follow through with. This includes their creative side decorating the living room walls in crayon and attempting to wash the dog in the kitchen.
We get it. They are trying to brace their independence and complete tasks on their own. They attempt to mirror our motions and try out the big kid tasks. We should always encourage our children when they are willing to try something new. This affirmation is how we mold their self confidence so they may fearlessly venture onto to greater things. However, this does not mean let them walk all over you. Creativity and encouragement are one thing, blatant misbehavior is another. Its your job as a parent to set those boundaries and guide your children in the right direction.
Alright, your child is a bottle of curiosity just waiting to get out there and try new things. Then, as you remark that it is time for dinner or to go inside, they crumble. These toddler tantrums can make any mom want to rip their hair out. Toddler tantrums stink. They are even more so embarrassing when they occur in the center aisle of the grocery store when you deny the request for cotton candy ice cream.
When it comes to a tantrum its best to consider why its happening. Sometimes its a full on fit. They are simply displeased by your answer to a request and they cannot process such a response. Boom. Screaming child.
There are many reasons toddler tantrums occur. As parents, its our job to analyze the occurrence and hone in on the cause. Because a tantrum is such a common reaction for a toddler, it is really an emotional response to multiple causes.
Toddler Tantrums Case 1
The number one cause is FRUSTRATION. If your toddler is attempting to perform or complete a task that is beyond their capability, this is cause for serious frustration. Even as adults, we tend to throw a hissy fit when we are at a task for several hours only to come up short several times over before we get it right. In this scenario, its best to guide your child and offer suggestions.
If they are trying to put together a block in a difficult formation and begin to get upset, step in and offer some help. Try not to take over the task though. Hand them a second block and say, “Do you think this one would help it stay together?” By doing this, you are placing the overall outcome in their hands. You make a small suggestion and they obtain results.
Toddler Tantrums Case 2
Have you ever noticed your child become incredibly ornery right before bedtime? That little ticking time bomb tantrum is caused by TIREDNESS. The best way to curb this tantrum is to provide your child with plenty of time for rest. Allow them to nap as you see necessary. Don’t go by all the forums and advice you see on the internet. You don’t need to cut back on naps at age two or completely rule them out by age four. If your child is tired. Schedule a nap. That rest is crucial to their development and well being. Not to mention your sanity.
Toddler Tantrums Case 3
Do you ever notice that you or someone you know tends to get a little grumpy when they are hungry? Its the same for your toddler. A big cause for toddler tantrums is HUNGER OR THIRST. However, they are preoccupied by other tasks to realize it. Therefore, its your job as super mom to swoop in with the snacks. A few apple slices and milk go a long way with a cranky toddler.
Toddler Tantrums Case 4
Let us think back to our six month old baby and the river of drool pouring from their mouth as those front teeth came through. They may have been fussy and in pain. Your toddler is still TEETHING too. Between 10 to 14 months the molars will begin to surface. This can cause serious discomfort and agitation. Keep in mind when your toddler tantrums seem to come from nowhere, this may be the culprit.
Check out the TEETHING BABY SURVIVAL GUIDE HERE
Toddler Tantrums Case 5
Do you recall having butterflies in your tummy before a big interview, or perhaps your stomach turned while looking out the glass of an elevator escalated. These are two very different scenarios of fear or INSECURITY. Its a natural reaction. Its a core part of our being called survival. Our brains are naturally wired to be cautious of situations.
As for as your toddler’s fears go, they are all across the board. Insecurity can range anywhere from the feeling of being lost or uncomfortable around strangers to fear of the bathtub. The natural reaction to those fears are good ol’ toddler tantrums. Fear for a small child is quite devastating and the feeling of insecurity a culprit of tantrums.
Being that our children rely heavily on us as parents, big situations or scenarios can be quite intimidating. As adults, most of us can handle an uneasy situation and foresee the outcome. For a toddler this just isn’t so in a new situation. You have to put yourself in their shoes. If you are dropping them off at a new daycare for the first time, its natural for them to have a total conniption.
If I dropped you off in the middle of the desert and said have a nice day, you would be a little peeved. This is kind of what your toddler is thinking. The best thing to do in this case is prepare them beforehand. Talk about this new experience before it happens. Be sure not to coddle them during a tantrum in drop off scenarios. This is discouraging for the other kids watching. You want to show confidence and reinforce that confidence with a quick love you smooch and leave. Do your best to give examples and read books about a big change beforehand. This will help to soften the blow of a tantrum.
Another way to ease the anxiety is to provide a special toy or blanket that is a comfort from home. This is a great way for your toddler to take a piece of home with them. The special item item acts as a security blanket or object to calm your child when under stress.
Toddler Tantrums Case 6
Take a good look at all your child’s toys. More often than not, there are plenty and then some. You may question how your little one could ever be unhappy with so many goodies at hand. Well, one cause of toddler tantrums is BOREDOM. You can really grasp this concept when you think back to when baby was about 6 months old. The same toy presented over and over became ineffective at soothing their needs after a time. Therefore you got a new one.
Some concept with a toddler and their toys. A great way to keep them from getting bored is to stash the goods. Hide about 3/4 of their toys out of reach and out of sight. Then every few days, swap a few out for new ones. This triggers their interest and ignites excitement as they reveal what new toy is in their box for the day. Boredom solved. As a bonus, your house looks tidy!
HOW TO CURB THE CRYING
A tantrum usually erupts suddenly and never when you would like. There are ways to curb these toddler tantrums. A big way to side track those sobs is letting your child help. Give them something else to focus on that is engaging and related to the task you are trying to achieve.
For example, its bath time…
Your toddler is not having it. They flop themselves on the floor and explode into an emotional atom bomb. Two things can be taken from this. One, they are probably tired if its evening and two, a bath may be boring. To keep that little one from flailing around like a fish out of water, set up a task for them that involves bath time.
A great way to do this is give them the job of bubble duty. They are in charge of making the bubbles in the bath. While the bath water is running, let them pour in the bubble soap. If you plan to have toys in the tub, assign them to tub toy duty. Then let them choose the amount of toys allowed for that bath.
Another way to calm those toddler tantrums is to make the scenario a fun learning experience. If you happen to be stuck in a long line while waiting to check out and your toddler is fussing, start up a game. Ask them to spot items that are green or something shaped like a circle.
Consistency is Key
Like many things, consistency is key. With consistency your child will begin to accept the limitations around them and better accept new ones. There are certain cases where you can bend the rules, just be sure you don’t let them slip through your fingers. Maintaining these boundaries will be a crucial stepping stone in the milestones to come.