Coping With Toddler Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums generally peak at age two and gradually taper off as the toddler develops her verbal skills and physical control more fully. In the meantime, here are a few tips to save your sanity:
- Identify and avoid your toddler's temper tantrum triggers. Most likely, you'll learn that she's prone to tantrums if she's tired, bored, hungry or sick, or affected by other stressors in her life. After you've nailed down her triggers, you'll learn how to handle the situation in creative ways, such as postponing a low priority trip to the store until she's a little less cranky. Basically, it's much easier to learn to avoid triggers than manage a full-blown temper tantrum.
- Be ready to become involved if you sense that she's becoming especially frustrated. Attempt to avert her attention if it seems like she's going to snap. (If you notice her face is becoming increasingly red, hand her a toy or snack as a distraction.)
- Don't react strongly to her negative behavior or she will realize that she has the ultimate weapon—the temper tantrum. Rather, ignore her tantrum and try to maintain your cool.
- Don't encourage her toddler temper tantrums by laughing or calling them "cute"—unless, of course, you want to deal with it all day, every day!
- Place her in a safe spot if you think she could injure herself mid-tantrum.
- Hug her once the tantrum has ended. She probably found the strength of her feelings a little bit frightening, and may be looking for reassurance.
- Don't be mortified if she has a tantrum in a public place—any parent has probably been in your shoes at least once.