Let’s Face It…
Toddlers and tantrums go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re learning to process their emotions, boundaries and the world around them at such a young age.
One minute they’re sweet.
And then the next? Totally sour.
It can be overwhelming. I get it.
And if you’ve got a growing toddler, the sooner you get it, the sooner you’ll be able to manage.
Not your toddler. No, no, my friend you won’t ever be able to “manage” your toddler. A toddler is going to do what they’re gonna do. You’re just there for the ride.
I mean manage your emotions. Manage your schedule. Manage as in make due with what you’ve got.
You can do it…
So here are five tips to help you work through a toddler tantrum.
- Get to the bottom of it. What’s the problem? Are they hungry/sleepy/uncomfortable? Sometimes the answer to a toddler problem is simple. Feed them, change them, offer a blanket, etc.
- Be on top of it. And then sometimes, a toddler problem can be a bit more complex. And even then, the quiet before the storm of a tantrum can be indicative of what causes a meltdown. Be proactive instead of reactive. By being proactive and paying attention to your child, you may catch a cue of what might be frustrating them before things boil over. Support them through that process before it gets bad. If they’re having trouble with a toy, offer up some help in problem solving. Congratulate them on any step they take in problem solving on their own. Every bit counts!
- Give them words. Yes, even in our darkest hour, we are strengthening these little ones’ vocabulary. It’s also about identifying emotions. Ask them: are you angry? Sad? Frustrated? Affirm their right to be upset about something. “I know, I know. I’m so sorry you’re upset. I understand.” And reflect that in your face when you are talking to them at eye level. Sometimes they just want to be heard. Don’t you?
- Give them love. This is a time to connect and let them know that you understand that they are upset. If they want the attention, this could be a great time to offer up a hug. Otherwise…
- Move out of the way. If you are dead smack in the middle of a toddler emotional whirlwind and you’ve just got to let nature run its course, your best bet in that moment is to secure the scene in making sure they won’t hurt themselves and then back off. Sometimes letting out the frustration is the exact outlet they need.
Remember: being little can be A LOT. The more you know, the more you grow.