Every mother dreads the thought of toddler tantrums and typically they always occur at the worst of times like in a busy supermarket or while having a meal in a restaurant. However you may learn what triggers a tantrum in your child such as missing an afternoon nap and then you will be able to prepare ahead to avoid such situations.
But as Murphy’s Law will have it, this is much easier said than done. So in the case when these are totally unavoidable, think of these 6 ways not to handle your toddler during a temper tantrum.
- Become angry. It is easy to lose your cool but it is no good getting caught up in their emotional storm. Remaining calm, as embarrassed as you may be by the situation, your reaction will assist them in gathering themselves more quickly and settling down.
- Laugh at them. Although the situation can sometimes become amusing as the word ‘drama queen’ comes to mind, laughing at them can be interpreted that they should not have these feelings as they are ridiculous. Expressing emotions is essential but just not in this way.
- Walk away from them. This can cause panic and fear in them at a time when they need your support most. The message is that they are unloved when they are feeling upset. Even though at this time a parent may certainly not feel like loving such a ‘bad’ child, do not let your own emotions stand in the way.
- Take it personally. This is not a reflection on their upbringing or lack of your discipline but rather a lack of ability to control their emotions. These skills will develop with time.
- Resort to bribery. We’ve all been tempted to give them what they want simply to regain some normality but this is not the lesson we want for them.
- Imitate them. This can be tempting to lighten up the situation but to the child it is a form of ridicule towards their feelings. We do not want them to think that it is okay to make fun of other people when they are battling with feelings.
These are difficult times for both parent and child but being the adult, we can take control and make the most of a bad situation while at the same time instilling in them that no matter what, our love for them is unconditional.