Our boy, Charlie, turned two years old a few months ago. I noticed that since turning two, he has been throwing quite a lot of fits. Thankfully, we’ve had training with our first two!
Understanding Toddler Tantrums
Temper tantrums often occur between the ages of 1-3 years and it happens to both girls and boys. To be able to deal with toddler tantrums, you first need to know why they are happening.
Why do tantrums happen? Most of the time, it’s because the child is hungry, tired, or uncomfortable. Unlike adults who can clearly communicate when things don’t feel “right,” toddlers often find it hard to communicate these to us; hence becoming frustrated, which leads to a tantrum.
Also, this is the time that children crave for independence. They want to do things on their own. However, if they discover they can’t do something just yet, they get frustrated and throw a tantrum. #expectationvsreality
How To Handle Toddler Tantrums
What, then, are parents to do? We can’t completely prevent temper tantrums because they are part of growing up, but we can be around to help our little ones through the process. Here are some things we do to prevent or control temper tantrums:
- Fill up your child’s love tank. Give him/her (positive) attention by praising him/her when he/she does something good. When Charlie throws his food wrapper in the trash, I cheer for him.
- Start introducing responsibility. I know it’s extra work sometimes to let your child help around the house, but they love feeling like they’re “big kids” already. I ask Charlie to get diapers for changing and throw soiled nappies in the trash and he loves it! He also enjoys packing up his toys. It’s not as organized as we’d like it to be, but we let him do his thing.
- Offer choices. Give your child a chance to choose for himself/herself. The trick, however, is not to offer too many choices at one time as that may cause frustration. Instead, give two choices. Apple juice or mango juice? Red shirt or white shirt? I’ll let you play for five more minutes then we’ll take a bath.
- Choose your battles. If your child wants something, think about the request carefully. Is it an absolute no-no or can you reconsider?
Raising little humans is a tough job. Remember that our kids are unique in every way so what might work for us may not work for you (and vice versa). Let this be a guide, but these are definitely not rules set on stone.
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