Toddler temper tantrums can happen in a second and can be caused by many different reasons. But the resulting cause every single time is frustration and even embarrassment when your sweet little angel decides to unleash her reign of terror in public. Here are some easy and effective tips to help calm your child and your nerves when your child is in full-on fit mode.
No one likes being talked down, including our kids. Toddlers are short and if we want to stop talking down to them, we need to intentionally get down on their level.
Talking to your toddler eye to eye isn’t just helpful during a tantrum but really is how we should be talking to our children every time.
If you ask your little one to do something and you’re getting totally ignored, don’t keep repeating yourself. You’ll only get more frustrated and angry. Simply stop and get down to where they are or bring them up to where you are, and speak to them in a calm and direct tone.
And look them right in their eyes. Doing this ensures they’ve actually heard you and also makes them focus. This practice is extremely effective. And one more thing, talking to anyone in this way is a sign of respect. It shows them they’re important and deserve your full attention. This really goes a long way.
I dare you to give it a try the next time your toddler goes into fit-mode. Not a warm and fuzzy hug, though. Give them a close, firm and disarming hug.
Think of it like those weighted blankets that help people overcome night-anxiety or how swaddling a baby helps them feel safe. Pulling your toddler close when they’re acting out is like yelling I Love You to your husband in the middle of an argument… it’s a pattern interrupt. It’s also a lot more effective than walking away, yelling, or punishing them for their tantrum.
This tactic pretty much works for any human interaction with conflict. If you’re talking to an angry person, the least effective thing to do is elevate your voice too.
Instead, lowering your voice to one that is calm, confident, and firm is the perfect way to talk to your angry toddler. NEVER, yell!
Here’s where things can get a little sticky because when our toddler isn’t listening, talking back, or having an outright tantrum it’s really easy to allow our emotions to go into overdrive.
When our emotions are in control we’ve more likely to say things that aren’t helpful, add to the problem or things we don’t mean and will regret. So when your little one is acting out, always take a breath before you say anything or make any parenting decisions.
If you’re in a public place, get out as fast as you can. It’s obviously great for all the innocent bystanders and just plain good manners. But it also resets the location and works to interrupt their tirade.
Stay calm and take this time to breathe and count, NOT to yell, complain, and yank your kid’s arm off.
I know this is easier said than done. But modeling calm behavior is SUPER important!
Remember, tantrums are a form of communication. Not the best, but communication none the less. If your child’s form of getting their way is a tantrum or if tantrums are a way of life in your home, this is a sign that your child hasn’t learned a more appropriate way of sharing their feelings. And this behavior isn’t likely to go away on its own as they get older. However, on the occasion tantrums or angry displays of emotion do happen and this is where we need to do our best to find the source and help them work through it with compassion.
As tempting as it is to unleash your true feelings of frustration and call it like you see it, do your best to reign it in. Calling your son a bad boy over and over isn’t going to fix the problem. Our words have power and calling your son a “bad boy” is actually making a declaration that your son is bad. Certainly not what you really want to accomplish. Always work to speak what you desire to see in your children, your life, and your family. Our words have creative ability and have the power to change our circumstances.
By: Monica M. Facusse, Psychologist/Psychotherapist & Health Coach, for Little Lunches
1 year ago