What can I do to deal with my toddler’s temper tantrums? This is a typical question that we are asked.
My toddler is known to scream when I don’t give her what she wants, sometimes I lose my patience in front of her when she does that. What can I do to increase my patients and hold on to my resolve so I don’t lose it when she does?
Tantrums have goals
- To express her dissatisfaction with something they are unhappy.
- They are trying to get you to change her mind
- Possibly trying to get your attention
If you respond to the child and tell them why they cant have what they want, they may still be getting attention and power, which is equally rewarding.
Remember, kids only portray behaviours that benefit them some how, some way.
If the tantrum gets your attention, they may do it over and over again; so sometimes its wiser to not give it a reaction and respond because then they get what they want.
It can be difficult and counter-productive to continue trying to communicate and reason while the child is displaying the negative behaviour.
Have a plan
In almost all of life’s challenging situations it really helps to have a well thought out plan ahead of time. Here is one simple plan.
- Tell her once – Tell them once, say it calmly but only say it once.
- Keep your cool – Its super important you don’t LOSE YOUR PATIENCE, that pretty much says they win
- Walk Away – If the child has a tantrum just walk away. Remember showing her attention gives her power so just IGNORE it.
- Make them forfeit – After the child realizes it didn’t work the will eventually stop. This step may take several times before the tantrums fully stop. They may even get louder and worse at first, thats because the child is testing you. (But don’t worry it wont last for long).
Obviously safety is a first consideration so its not always possible to carry out your plan. You may not be able to leave and some behaviour cannot be ignored safely.