Tips For Dealing With Toddler Temper Tantrums

Toddler temper tantrums can be frustrating and sometimes embarrassing for parents. Especially when toddlers seem to be able to throw fits over anything, no matter how small or big. 

Here are a few tips to help manage your toddler’s temper tantrums and how to deal with them when they occur!


What is a Temper Tantrum

So what is a temper tantrum exactly and why does it happen? Temper tantrums are a normal occurrence and is a part of child development. It happens when children start to have their own opinion on things but are not yet capable of dealing with their emotions or situations that don’t go their way. Many times it can be a painful time for your child because they are unable to logically process the stress they are going through. It can also be a result of toddlers not being able to verbally translate what they are feeling. 

While fits and tantrums can be an extremely frustrating and tiring time for parents, they are not necessarily a bad thing. This is because tantrums are opportunities for your children to grow and develop mentally and emotionally. The way parents teach their toddlers how to regulate their emotions and deal with their problems in an effective way is something that will translate to their lives as they grow older. By properly teaching your child, it creates a crucial foundation for how they will handle stress later on in their lives.


How to Prevent

Temper tantrums can be difficult to manage so it’ll make it easier on yourself and your child to prevent it before it occurs. To prevent fits, keep in mind potential triggers that can make your child more irritable than normal. 

A few significant tantrum triggers to look out for is hunger, anger, tiredness, and loneliness. Children are especially more likely to become irritated when they are hungry or tired. To avoid this, try to keep your child on a schedule, such as a nap and meal schedule. Another tip is if you know you and your child will be out for long periods of time, pack snacks and drinks for them in preparation. 

A few other triggers could include disappointment, boredom, and frustration. So if you know your child will be upset about something, plan for potential distractions or alternatives to get them away from the emotion. For example, if there is a long wait in lines, bring them a small toy to play with and keep them entertained.

Another tip is to make sure your child is comfortable in the clothes they’re wearing. There’s nothing like itchy or scratchy clothes to make even an adult irritated! Prevent this by opting for WithOrganic’s 100% organic baby and toddler clothing. Organic cotton is not only softer than conventional cotton, but is also a breathable and stretchy material. Our clothing is made with a toddler’s sensitive skin in mind so it’s a perfect layerable piece in your child’s wardrobe this Fall and upcoming Winter!


What to do & How to Deal

It can be hard to know what to do when you’re child is in the middle of a tantrum. So how do you deal with temper tantrums? We are here to help with a few tips you can use!


Keep Calm

Emotions, especially negative ones, can translate to your child. So when you’re child is in a high emotional state, being angry or yelling won’t help calm them down. Not only that, but it also sets a bad example of how they should deal with situations that don’t go their way. It shows them that if they are upset about something, anger and negative emotions is the solution. By keeping calm and positive, it teaches your toddler that they are able to deal with situations they are unhappy about without losing control of their emotions.



Acknowledge Their Feelings But Don’t Give In

Many times when you’re child is throwing a fit, it is their way of expressing displeasure about something that happened. By verbally acknowledging what they’re upset about and showing that you understand how they’re feeling, it will slow down their tantrum and can trigger them to start thinking logically.

However, although you may understand the way they feel, you should stay firm in your stance on the situation. For instance, if your child is upset because you said no to them eating candy, calmly tell them that you understand how they feel but they may not eat candy right now. By caving in, it will only reinforce their behavior. It will tell them that getting upset and crying will get them what they want. Giving in once in a while is just as bad. It’ll show them that if they keep up the temper tantrum, you’ll eventually give in and they will get what they want.



Teach Them How to Express Themselves

Teaching your child post tantrum is an important part that shouldn’t be skipped. After your toddler has calmed down, review with them what happened and the situation. Teach your child what to say next time and how to use their words. It shows them how to deal with their feelings and emotional situations properly instead of throwing things around and yelling. The review of  the situation along with teaching helps them connect both the words and situations together in their brain. That helps teach them to manage their emotional state.



Hugging or Holding

When toddlers are in the middle of a tantrum, you can’t reason with them because their emotions have taken over. Since they are in a high emotional state, they aren’t able to think logically. In order to talk to and reason with your child, you must first calm them down. You can do this by hugging or holding them. This is because it can help restore hormonal balance and release oxytocin in their bodies. Hugging or holding can help regulate and soothe your toddler’s emotions so they can think rationally.



Use Distractions or Choices

Distractions can be used at the beginning of a tantrum to divert attention before the problem and emotions escalate. For instance, if your child is upset by not getting a toy they wanted, try letting them have a different one instead. This will not only pique their curiosity for the new toy, but distracts them from the original one.

You can also address and subdue a situation before it gets out of hand by giving them simple choices. An example of this is if your toddler refuses to get dressed, ask them if they want to wear an animal printed shirt or a polka dot shirt today. Asking simple questions is better than trying to force them to do something they don’t want to and potentially increase their stress and negative emotions. Doing this also helps their brain switch from emotional to logical and thinking. 


When to Worry

You may be wondering, at what age should a child stop having temper tantrums? Well, these tantrums usually start around 12-18 months and ends at 4 years old. 

While temper tantrums are normal for children, there are times when tantrums are not normal. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, you should call a pediatrician if:

  • Your child’s tantrums get worse after 4 years old
  • If your toddler injures themselves or other people or destroys things
  • If your toddler hold their breath during tantrums, especially if they faint

While we hope these tips help you deal with your toddler’s temper tantrums a bit better, keep in mind that every child is different and you may need to go through trial and error. Don’t give up and with plenty of patience, you’ll be able to figure out what works best for your child!

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