How Do I Handle An Epic Toddler Tantrum?

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Ahhh, The Epic Toddler Tantrum. It is a masterful thing.

Number one, remember that it is not about you. Your child might be mad at you, but the child’s explosion is about him and his feelings, and you do not have to own those feelings as well. He is not in pain – he is PISSED. Let him be mad. You do not have to be as well.

Here’s what you need to know about tantrums

Does your toddler have a tell?

Can you see when a meltdown will happen? Does her lip quiver, does she ball her fists, does she get quiet? If you can find the tell, you can head the tantrum off. “You look like you are getting upset. What do you need?”

You can problem-solve, work things out, and find a solution instead of a tantrum. An important life skill. Maybe even just get a cup of water or change the scene. Try to figure out the tell.

Sometimes the tantrum just happens.

As long as your child is safe, let it go. Don’t talk to him – it will only make things worse. If he is safe and you need to, walk into another room to keep your cool, then check on him. When he has calmed down, talk to him about the tantrum. Did it help? How did it feel? Did it get him what he wanted?

Even after the tantrum, stick to what you say, even if that is what set it off.

The tantrum is not the consequence, so if you said, “No more crayons” because your child wrote on the wall, there are still no more crayons. If your child has to eat healthy foods before a treat, he still does not get the treat.

Tantrums are part of life – even we have them from time to time.

Toddlers feel BIG – I mean HUGE – so their reactions to those feelings are big. Stay calm, stay clear about what you are expecting, and move on. Do not hold a grudge. The less attention that you give the tantrums, and the less that they get a child to change your mind, the faster you will see them disappear.


Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.

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