Terrible Twos, Threenager strops – call it whatever you want but every toddler at some point will go through this stage.
Remember back when they were babies; cooing, laughing, exploring and crying when they wanted something. Now they’re walking, talking, laughing, exploring and – in an instant screaming the house down!
For me, my daughter was such an angel for so long that it was inevitable the tantrums would eventually come around. We got it in spades!
Started over silly things: wanting to walk when in fact we get two steps out the door and wants to be carried or we need to take the buggy or not wanting to nap but still did anyway.
Now it seems to be over every single thing that I need her to do or want her to stop doing: getting dressed, tidy up time, not getting every item of food out the cupboard etc.
It’s important to pick my battles.
A few parent bloggers have given me their top tips for coping/ handling toddler tantrums.
Here’s their advice:
Distraction! ‘Look at that aeroplane/train/fast car!’ ‘Oh, I’m sure I just saw the Gruffalo hide behind there – shall we go and look?’ etc etc. And keeping in mind that tantrums are nothing personal, that most toddlers throw them and they grow out of it…eventually. Once I started to bear that in mind, they got easier to cope with. (I had three toddlers at the same time at one point!) Rachel from Coffee Cake Kids
Sometimes I feel that they need to just get all their frustrations out so I lay my children down on the floor and allow them to kick, scream and cry as much as they want. After a few minutes, I then go over, pick them up and give them a cuddle. My eldest daughter was one to throw herself backward so by placing her on the floor it prevented any head injuries. Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too
If you’re in public don’t assume you are being judged harshly, i think most are sympathetic. Natasha from Mummy and Moose
We use the 3strike rule and your out and on the naughty step. We tell our son that he needs to stop and that his behaviour is not acceptable (he’s tried hitting us/head butting us and throwing his head back during tantrums) after he has been warned twice the third time he get put on the bottom step of the stairs for a 2 minutes (one minute per year of his age) after that we explained for a second time why he is there then he is asked to apologise and give a kiss and a cuddle. This works very quickly and either stops the tantrum straight away or after the step. Helps him learn acceptable behaviour and better ways to express himself. Sam from Clicks and Giggles
Stand your ground, don’t say no then in the next breath give in to stop a tantrum – although at the time you’ll be grateful the screaming has stopped but the reality is your enabling the behaviour.
Another tip I do is giving my daughter odd jobs to do, like putting empty boxes, paper/ plastic in our recycling bin, loading the washing machine, ‘sweeping’ the kitchen floor, unpacking shopping and putting clean clothes away.
It minimises boredom for her when I’m doing household chores and reduces her tantrums too. Some may argue that as a 2 year old (nearly 3) she shouldn’t be doing jobs around the house, she likes to feel involved and helpful.
If she’s happy, I’m happy.
How do you manage toddler tantrums?