How to Deal with a Sudden Tantrum

December 18, 2018

Has your child started having meltdowns in the grocery store? Temper tantrums can be both frustrating and embarrassing, but did you know they’re also a normal part of child development?

Since toddlers can’t easily express what they want and how they feel, they often resort to lashing out. This can happen in the form of crying, screaming, kicking, and public meltdowns. Fortunately, these will taper off as their communication skills improve and they learn how to deal with frustration in a healthier manner. Until then, here are a few ways to deal with a sudden tantrum and how you can prevent it from happening in the first place.

Stay Calm

It will only make things worse if you react with anger or frustration. Instead, stay as calm as possible. In most cases, it’s best to ignore the sudden outburst and try to distract them by moving on to another activity. If they refuse to calm down, remove, and place them in a different environment, such as a quiet space or outside until they settle and regain control.

Avoid Giving In

If you give in to their tantrums, it will only show your little one that their method was effective in getting what they want. Instead, wait until they calm down and then praise them for regaining control.

Validate their Emotions

Once your child has calmed down, sit down and talk about their behaviour. Provide comfort, point out the areas where they need improvement, and also highlight areas where they are doing well. Offer rewards for improvement and discuss the consequences when tantrums occur again.

Ensure they are Getting Enough Sleep

Studies have shown that tantrums can be reduced when children get an adequate amount of sleep. If your little one has been struggling with their sleeping patterns, talk to your doctor to see how you can get them back onto a regular routine.

Provide Choices

Avoid asking them questions that allow them to answer “no.” Instead, phrase your questions to offer a choice, such as “do you want to brush your teeth now or after your bath?” or “do you want an orange or an apple?” This will give them some control over their situation which can help prevent tantrums.

Temper tantrums are completely normal, but when they happen, it’s important to know how to react and what to do to calm them down. If these tips don’t work on your child, it’s essential to reach out to a professional for support.

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