If you’re struggling to figure out how to best handle your toddler when they get upset, you’re not alone. It’s not always easy to know what they want or how to make them happy. It can be difficult to help steer them in the right direction when their anger gets the best of them.
When toddlers start to throw a tantrum, frustrated parents can find themselves desperately trying to stay calm. Even though your temper may be getting the best of you, it’s critical that you stay calm. Only through controlling your own emotions can you hope to help them control theirs.
Take a look at some of the best tips for staying calm when your toddler is testing your self-control.
Give Them a Choice
One of the best tips for getting difficult toddlers to do things your way is to give them two choices. The trick is to make sure that both choices lead to the same outcome. For example, if you want them to eat a healthy lunch, you can give them the choice of eating on the blue plate or the red plate.
Giving them a choice will help them feel empowered and less likely to protest. It also encourages them to be more confident people and capable of decision making.
Try to start taking note of when your toddler tends to lose their patience. Do their tantrums happen as a direct result of something in particular? If you start to notice that the same thing triggers an outburst, then you should avoid exposing your toddler to these situations.
For example, if they often have a tantrum when you walk past the candy in the grocery store, then consider avoiding the aisle altogether. Until your child is a certain age, it’s no use trying to talk them out of a tantrum. During the first two years, it makes more sense to avoid and distract rather than try to reason.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Young children thrive off of being told they’re doing a good job. Rather than only pointing out when they’re doing something wrong, point out what they’re doing right! Instead of only focusing on punishment, focus on rewards! By responding to positive behavior with praise and love, you’ll reinforce even more of that from them.
If your child is particularly irritable, then help identify their strengths. Try to provide moments for your child that can earn them praise. The more that they are praised, the more that they will strive to be rewarded for their actions.
Let It Go
In some cases, despite how hard you try, you may not be able to avoid a tantrum. Sometimes the only thing you can do is sit back and let it happen. Sometimes you just have to let it go and wait for it to blow over.