Responding to Tantrums

When adorable infants start walking and having opinions about their environment, parents must develop a new set of skills. It can be exhausting, embarrassing and annoying when toddlers lose their temper over things that don’t seem important.

Developmentally, toddlers are learning to communicate and express emotions. As parents, you develop patience and model the type of communication you’d like your child to learn. Here are some tips to managing these emotional outbursts with your children.

Observe:

  • What was happening right before the tantrum?
  • Are there patterns in the child’s tantrums?
  • Are there certain situations that trigger them?

Learn: What might be causing the child’s loss of control?

  • Frustration
  • Unable to do something
  • Not enough language to express his thoughts or feelings
  • Irritability due to hunger or fatigue

Respond:

  • Stay calm
  • Stay close and keep your child safe
  • Validate your child’s feelings: “You are having a hard time. Everyone needs a break sometimes.”
  • Afterward tell him what a good job he did calming down.

You and your child will get through this stage! Remember to model for your child the behavior you’d like to see in him: kindness, patience, respect, and good communication.