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How to get a handle on toddler temper tantrums

We’ve all seen it happen – a toddler having a screaming, sobbing meltdown, often in a public place, as parents struggle to calm their child. In fact, it’s what most of us reading this have put our own parents through! These tantrums are difficult to deal with, but here are a few tips from our play school near Craighall to help keep them under control.

  • Remember that they are natural: Between the ages of 1-4 years, children are learning how to communicate effectively. But because they haven’t mastered these skills yet, they can get frustrated – resulting in a tantrum. This is all part of the natural learning process, and keeping that in mind can make them much easier to deal with.
  • Normal tantrums or troublesome tantrums: Research has shown that around half of toddlers throw one or more tantrums a week, and this is considered fairly normal for this level of development and can generally be ignored as a real behavioural issue. However, if tantrums are far more frequent and far more intense, it’s best to take a closer look at what is triggering them and how they are being dealt with.
  • What triggers the tantrum? Knowing what triggers a tantrum is an important part of dealing with them effectively. While they may seem to come out of nowhere, the main triggers tend to be change and testing the rules. Other factors like hunger, frustration or tiredness can quickly escalate the situation, so keeping these under control can help reduce the frequency and intensity of tantrums.
  • Don’t give in: Unfortunately, the easiest way to stop a tantrum is to give your child what they want, but this isn’t a good strategy in the long term. Not only will it disrupt the rules and limitations you have set in place for your child, it will also encourage him or her to throw more tantrums in future. This will quickly become a difficult cycle to break. Not giving in will show your child that this strategy doesn’t work, encouraging them to try something else instead.
  • Stay calm: This is very challenging, but staying calm and showing your child that their tantrum doesn’t affect you is important to stopping this behaviour. Sit and hold your child and tell them you love them but you can’t give them what you want. You can even remove him from the situation and take him somewhere quiet and calm to give him a time-out, like sitting in the car for a few minutes if you’re at the shops.
  • Be positive: Learning these communication skills is hard work, so praise your child when they stay calm and do the right thing in a situation where they could’ve thrown a temper tantrum. This shows him that the right behaviour gets rewarded and builds a positive feedback situation rather than leaving him frustrated.

Holistic childcare from our play school near Craighall

At Doodlebugs Play School near Craighall, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one. We aim to support it through a holistic nursery school curriculum that teaches through fun, safe and age-appropriate activities. With plenty of peers to play with, extensively trained crèche and professional child-care staff members to oversee all activities and a fun, childproof environment, we’re looking forward to bringing out the best in your child.

For more information on our daily routine or to visit our day care centre, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!