Whatever your parenting style, it’s absolutely impossible to make it through the toddler years without at least a few tantrums. They are an inevitable part of parenting and – I know from personal experience – can be both worrying and exhausting.
I wish I had a magic solution that would eliminate tantrums altogether, but instead I can share with you a few tips that will make managing them a little easier.
First of all – be kind to yourself!
Tantrums are exhausting. If you’re in public, they can feel embarrassing and even if you’re in the comfort of your own home, they can still leave you feeling frustrated and alone. So, my first tip is to remember that ALL parents go through tantrums. It is in no way a reflection on your parenting or your relationship with your child.
Once you understand this, it is much easier to remain calm during an outburst. Remember to use a calm voice and take a deep breath, knowing that it is a completely normal and natural part of the journey and won’t last forever! You’ve got this!
The art of distraction!
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have made a complete fool of myself trying to bring a tantrum to a speedy conclusion. It isn’t my favourite pastime, but I can tell you that more often than not, it works!
Is your child having a tantrum because their cornflakes were served in a green bowl this morning instead of their usual white one? Whatever the cause, try and find something SO interesting it will completely override those objections. They don’t even have to be real things. My favourites include: spotting a truck or lorry going passed the house, popping outside to have a look at a cloud dinosaur I just spotted, suddenly getting a (very dramatic) leg cramp that will of course require treatment from the finest ‘doctor’ in all the land and even on occasion spotting our pesky neighbourhood fox dancing around the garden.
Of course, I try not to lie to Arlo as much as is physically possible (and I know many parents wouldn’t admit to ever lying to their child at all) but I think pretending to get a leg clamp to reduce a