I’m convinced that God made toddlers adorable so we wouldn’t “ship them back” before they turned four. There is no better psychologist than a three year old who knows every button to push to make mommy’s head literally explode off her shoulders. They have mastered fake tears, made up tales of who stole what from whom, and the tantrums they can throw…holy moly are they impressive! Mine has even mastered the fine art of tapping me a million times and saying “mommy…mommy….mommy” over, and over and over until I think I may have a tantrum just for kicks. But then he looks at me with those big brown eyes and I know that he knows that I’m completely wrapped around his little finger.
5 Ways to Stop or Avoid Toddler Tantrums
- The best medicine is prevention, and by that I mean taking the time to sit down and talk about what is allowed, and what is not allowed. That may sound silly and totally obvious, but how often do you really try to have a normal conversation with your toddler? I think a lot of the time as moms we just react to the behavior instead of attempting to prevent it from happening. Having only a few key rules that apply to your house, can really help everyone to learn the rules. For example, “we do not take other people’s things without asking.” Or, “hitting, biting, punching, kicking are all big no-no’s!”
- Stay calm when they are coming unglued. It can be so easy to get angry and yell at them, but with toddlers, this seems to have the opposite affect (on most kids), and just feeds into the craziness. Stay calm, and try to talk in a normal, non-elevated voice.
- Keep them busy! Yes, keeping them busy and giving them tasks to do seems to be empowering for these little people. There are plenty of chores a two and three year old can do around the house (see below). Think puppy…a tired puppy is a good puppy.
- Just go on and walk away! Ignoring them seems counterproductive but it can be exactly what they need at that moment. They are so angry and upset they have literally gone crazy. So walk away, or put them in their room for a timeout before you attempt to talk through why what they were doing was wrong.
- Redirect when things start to go south. Sometimes there is no warning a tantrum is coming, but then sometimes there is a slow build up. If you can see that your child is getting upset, start redirecting them to a new activity. Sometimes just a simple, “hey, let’s go outside and play”, or “wanna build with blocks?” can really do wonders in preventing a toddler tantrum.
Toddler Chore Ideas:
- Gather dirty laundry
- Load/unload the dishwasher with you
- Wipe down windows and doors
- Use a magic eraser on the walls
- Pick up shoes and put them away
- Set the table
- Help get the mail
- Pick up sticks in the yard