Parents with children age between 1 to 4 years old live in split-second moments. Their children could be happily playing for one moment and screaming the next. Throwing short tantrums for minute things is common among toddlers, and it comes as no surprise that these can be minimised but never avoided.
If you are frustrated about your children’s tantrums, take a deep breath and tell yourself, “Tantrums are a normal part of child development.” It is the only way that toddlers can show that they are upset or frustrated. Toddlers want independence and control over what they do, and when they cannot attain that, they become frustrated or angry. Therefore, tantrums happen because they cannot do something that they wanted.
Tantrums will reduce as your children learn languages. Once they are able to express themselves better, it is likely for outbursts to reduce or to stop entirely.
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How can we, as parents, help our toddlers to reduce the supersonic, ear-shattering screams and foot stomping episodes? Here are some tips.
1) Give your toddlers plenty of positive attention
When your children do something well, be sure to praise them and tell them that they have done a great job at getting things done. Reward them with praise and attention, not with material things. It will backfire if you offer material rewards to them each time as that will encourage the expectations of doing good for something that they want.
2) Give your toddlers some control over daily tasks
Daily tasks such as bath time and brushing of teeth is an excellent place to start when giving your toddlers some control over their environment. By asking your toddlers whether they want to bath before or after dinner, or whether they want to brush their teeth before or after their shower give them a sense of control and also reduce the chance of them saying no to the daily tasks, which will eventually lead to a tantrum when you enforce it.
3) Keep undesirable things out of sight and out of reach
Toddlers are curious by nature. They want to explore and are determined to put their hands on every new thing they see. Therefore, to avoid a tantrum after getting denied to specific off-limits items, keep these items away. They will not miss what they do not know, and it will make life a little easier for you. Of course, it is not always possible, especially if you are outside of the home and cannot control the environment.
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4) Distract your children
Toddlers have a short attention span. Take full advantage of it by distracting your children with something else in place of the one they cannot have. Once they accept the distraction, quickly move away from the sight of the forbidden item and engage the children’s attention to something that they are happy to play with.
5) Help your children to learn new skills
Toddlers can begin to learn new skills, and it is vital that parents start to teach them early. For example, teach your child how to wear his own clothes and shoes. When they succeed, praise them for the good job done so that they can be proud of their achievements. Start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks to avoid disappointment.
6) Try saying Yes sometimes
When your children want something, consider their requests carefully before saying no. Saying yes to requests that are reasonable help to reinforce the idea that you trust them to do things right. It also reduces the tantrums that you will eventually face when you say no.
7) Know your children well
As parents, you are the best person to recognise the symptoms of an upcoming tantrum. If your toddler is tired, it is not the best time to go grocery shopping or head to a crowded shopping mall. Instead, wait until he or she has a nap before heading out again.
By applying these tips, we hope that you will have a less adventurous time with your children’s tantrums and enjoy your time with them in a peaceful, joyous manner.