Are temper tantrums becoming a part of your everyday routine? They are at my house, and although they are sometimes difficult to deal with they are part of appropriate development for toddlers. If your child is within the age range of 1-3 you may be seeing these from time to time. In this post I will give you 3 strategies so that you can have more smiles and less tantrums though out your day.
Build choices in throughout the day so that your toddler can feel like they have some control. When they are getting dressed let them pick between the two shirts instead of just throwing one on them. Ask them if they want crackers or Cheerios instead of picking out a snack for them. Isn’t more fun to go to the ice cream parlor if you get to pick what flavor you want instead of someone else choosing for you? Giving some control to your little one will raise their confidence and teach them independence as well.
Often times tantrums strike when a child has to quit a favorite activity or make a big transition such as going inside from being outside. Would you get anxiety if you had to go into work unscheduled and no one told you ahead of time? How would you react?
Just like adults, toddlers need know that a change is coming so that they can be ready for it.For example, when you are outside have your little one pick up toys as a warning that the activity is coming to an end. Makes this part of your routine every time you are about to head in. In my house we use this strategy when we are down in the playroom having lots of fun but it is time for us to go up stairs. I let him know a few minutes beforehand that we will be heading up.
Then we begin to pick up the toys which also lets him know that the transition is coming. The best part for him is that he gets to turn off the light once we are done. Adding in that little incentive to the routine makes him excited for whats to come instead of being frustrated about what he is leaving.
We spend a lot of time telling our children what they can’t do but it is much more effective to tell them what they can do. Temper tantrums happen when we tell a child “no” or to “stop” something that they are doing that is unsafe or inappropriate. So keep it simple: if Charlie is jumping on the couch and you don’t want him to, tell him where he CAN jump. Maybe on the floor? outside? on the rug?
If your child is throwing blocks, show him how to stack them instead. There are definitely times when “no” should be used, but if we overuse it the effectiveness of it will wear off. Replacing negative behaviors with positives is a win-win because not only do we get rid of the negative behavior but we also teach our little one the new positive one that we would like them to do.
When using new strategies with your little one make sure you are consistent. Being consistent allows your little one to know what to expect.