21-Month-Old Toddler Development: Tantrums
If you're dealing with the fifth tantrum of the day and you haven't even had your coffee yet, you're not alone. Toddlers the world over are notorious for their tantrums. So next time you stare at the neighbor's house picturing a scene of domestic bliss, know that their kid is probably flinging his breakfast around the room as he flails and foams at the mouth, too. What you're thinking: "I was SO not like this as a kid!"
- Temper tantrums are an exasperating but extremely common toddler behavior that usually ramp up when a kid is about 2 years old and taper off when his communication skills really get rocking at 3 or 4 years old (so hang in there, Mama!). Fortunately there are a few tricks to head 'em off at the pass. (Or at least help you cope until they do pass!)
- To help avoid temper tantrums, try to figure out what sets your kid off and then avoid those scenarios like the plague. Do tantrums erupt when she's hungry? Tired? PO'ed at her assistant (that'd be you) for not washing her favorite shirt?
- Try to teach your toddler to recognize when she's about to blow. When she starts to meltdown, model how she can take some deep breaths or go to a different room. It's sometimes easier to avoid a massive meltdown than to curtail one once it's exploded.
- The best way to deal with a full-on temper tantrum is to not deal. As long as your kid is safe (i.e., not flailing around on the concrete sidewalk), just let her burn herself out while you watch from the sidelines. Think of it as a trailer for a horror movie starring your little monster. Popcorn, anyone?
- Don't give in to your child's demands... unless you want to send the message that all she needs to do to get what she wants is to freak out.
- When she's done losing her marbles, give your kid a hug. The huge storm of emotions she just had can be scary, and not just to you. Tantrums can be especially frightening to the tiny perpetrator. Although you may want to melt into the floor when your kid has a tantrum in public, don't sweat it—even if everyone is glaring at you like you're the worst parent on the planet. Trust us when we say every parent has been there. Yes, even Mrs. "My kids never did that" staring down her nose at you over the sale rack.
- "I just experienced my first public toddler tantrum. It was everything I was expecting and more. My daughter threw a royal-sized fit because I wouldn't let her get down and run around like a wild thing in the middle of a children's store.
This is what I was expecting. She is 1. I expect her to try and assert her independence and get what she wants.
What I was not expecting were the intense stares, disapproving looks, nudges and comments from other parents, asking me to shut my child up."
Read more of "Bring on the Tantrums" by Sara
Everything you ever wanted to know ...and were just about to ask:
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your pediatrician at your kid's next checkup.