Toddler Temper Tantrums

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Tantrums are normal for toddlers. Toddlers feel so passionately about everything, they simply don’t have enough frontal cortex capacity yet to control themselves when they’re upset. Tantrums are frequent but can be avoided most of the time. Since it is an expression of powerlessness, toddlers who feel some control over their lives have many fewer tantrums.

Tantrums most often happen when your child is tired, hungry or sleepy. Make sure your baby gets enough milk or food and the adequate hours of sleep at all times. This not only affects the frequent tantrums but helps your child’s mental and physical health.

How to avoid toddler tantrums

Children who get less attention and love from their parents are more likely to throw a tantrum. If you’re a working mother, make sure to give your love and affection to your baby as soon as you head home. Children not only require it, their happiness depends on it.

• Try to handle tantrums peacefully.
Control your frustration and calm your child first. He is throwing a tantrum because he needs something. First figure out what he needs and talk to him to calm him down. If it’s something that you can provide at that moment, make sure you do. If it is something you cannot provide at that moment gently explain to him why it’s impossible. ‘Never lose your temper on an already upset child’.

• Sidestep power struggles
You don’t have to prove you’re right. Your child is trying to assert that he is a real person, with some real power in the world. That’s totally appropriate. Let him say ‘no’ whenever he can do so without a compromise to safety and health.

• Make him feel safe and loved no matter what
Usually at this point your child will cry. If he’ll let you hold him, do so. If he won’t, stay close, even if he won’t let you touch him. He needs to know you’re there, and still love him. Be calm and reassuring. Don’t try to reason with him. Your goal is just to create safety so he can let all those feelings come up. Once he gets a chance to show you his sad feelings he’ll feel and act a lot better.

Your child after a tantrum
Cuddle your child and show him love and affection. Make him feel like he doesn’t have to throw a tantrum to get love from you. Then tell the story, so your child can understand and reflect on what happened. This builds the frontal cortex.

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