The terrible two’s, for many parents, usher in a new stage of parenthood reality. Screaming toddlers standing their ground on almost everything can be not only frustrating. Yet, according to Dr. Cathryn Tobin, a pediatrician of 30 years, and additional experts, there are a few tactics that can actually help parents survive tantrums.
“Toddlers often get upset over the most insane things. But while they seem insane to us, they are real and crucial to your toddler,” Dr. Cathryn Tobin explained on her official Instagram account.
So, to help parents get through the toddler tantrums, here are a few tactics that put you back in the drivers seat!
1. Know that toddlers are trying…they are just frustrated.
Tantrums are a way that toddlers express their emotions as they are not quite versed yet to do it without pitching a fit. Dr. Tobin suggests that parents [should] to take their toddler’s experience seriously during a tantrum and put themselves in their toddler’s shoes for a moment.
Don’t tell your child how to feel in the moment when they are having a tantrum. Telling toddlers how to feel, although parents don’t mean to do it, negates the particular experience for the little one and you are teaching them not to trust their own feelings.
2. Let your child name the feelings that they are feeling.
Engage your child and get them to explain what they are feeling. Let them tell you whether they are sad, angry, or feeling defeated. Do not tell them how they are feeling. You want them to begin to express what is going on inside. Then, after they have expressed their feelings, talk about it. But of course, wait until the tantrum has stopped to do this.
Remember, to express your feelings too. When you are angry, sad, etc. etc., your toddler will notice. This can be your time to release, on an age-appropriate level. You are mimicking the same behavior that you are asking them to do.
3. Avoid situations likely to trigger tantrums.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are ways to almost avoid tantrums all together. If you avoid situations that will likely trigger a child’s tantrum, then you may be in the clear. For example, “don’t give your child toys that are far too advanced for him or her. If your child begs for toys or treats when you shop, steer clear of areas with these temptations. If your toddler acts up in restaurants, choose places that offer quick service.”
4. Praise good behavior.
Another tip from the Mayo Clinic, is to offer praise and extra attention for good behavior. Who does not like to get kudos when they are doing something right? Offering that little bit of extra attention when your kiddo is well behaved my stave of tantrums because they will realize that they won’t get a high-five for negative behavior.
5. Help your child move on from the tantrum.
Once the child has started to calm down from their tantrum, and you have used some of the additional tactics to help you get to a good transitional place, Dr. Tobin suggests that parents simply help their child move on from the tantrum. Get them to focus on something else. Suggest, “Let’s read a book. Which one should we read?” They will soon forget why they were having a tantrum in the first place.