When you’ve got a toddler in the house, tantrums become a fact of life. Though we have all heard of the ‘terrible twos’, temper tantrums can even last till your child s 4. Handling a temper tantrum is akin to handling a stubborn toddler; it requires a lot of patience.
Your toddler may throw a tantrum for a variety of reasons. It’s part of their development and often they act up because they’re tired or frustrated. But, it can still be a little embarrassing to be faced with a tantrum while you’re in public.
- Prevention is better than cure:While tantrums are inevitable, you can adopt a few strategies to prevent, or well, at least delay their arrival. Try cutting down on the need to say no and set clear boundaries. In toddler speak, ‘maybe’ translates to a yes, be clear about your answer or negotiate a compromise. Avoid the fearsome for (hunger, fatigue, boredom, and overstimulation) by always leaving the house with their favourite toy and their stomach full. Don’t plan on big excursions before their nap time to ensure they are well rested.
- Speak softly:Yelling or raising your voice in public will not accomplish anything. Rather, it will draw more attention to you, which may lead to your toddler getting more upset due to embarrassment. Speak in a quiet and calm voice so that whatever you say stays between you and your toddler. Speaking softly will force your toddler to calm down and listen to what you’re saying.
- Let them make a few decisions:If you’re out shopping for a long time, it is too much to expect your toddler to stay calm and quiet during the entire process if they do not have any activity to engage in. Try to include them in the decision-making process as often as you can, so that they feel like they are a part of the process. Ask them which flavour juice they want, or what kind of snack they would like to eat, they’ll be too busy thinking about the options to throw any kind of tantrums.
- Pay attention to good behaviour:Often kids throw tantrums as a way of seeking attention. They know that they will get a rise out of you by throwing a fit rather than calmly accepting what you’re telling them to do. Praise them whenever they behave and listen to you. Even if it is a small action don’t dismiss it, make sure to pay extra attention to good behaviour. This will encourage them to seek your attention in a more positive way.
Don’t give in:Perhaps the most important rule is to not give in no matter what. It is quite tempting to give in to your child’s demands, to appease them and save yourself from further embarrassment in public, it ultimately, won’t help. This will only teach your kid that throwing a tantrum is the way to get whatever they want. It will only be detrimental to any progress that you may have made and turn each and every public outing into a great debacle. Stay firm, and refuse to condone such behaviour.