4 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Your Child Throws A Tantrum (Part 2)

(Go back to the first part of this article HERE.)

Toddler tantrum

Learning how to “best” manage your child’s temper tantrums can make you search for all sorts of strategies. However, I’ll bet that none of those would work as well as you wish it would.

The truth is, there is no “secret” or “magic solution” to handling your child or toddler, especially when they’re throwing a major tantrum. The only person who can tell you what to do is you. From experience and trial-and-error, you’ll eventually discover methods that work best for you and your family.

However, it’s also just as important to note what not to do when parenting a tantruming child. This way, you’ll know what you should be doing and, at the same time, can avoid any pitfalls that might come along the way.

Below is the rest of what the don’ts in dealing with a tantruming toddler:

Don’t reason with them.

Communication sure is key to better understanding. But not with irrational toddlers! It’s important that we, parents, accept that we won’t be able to really reason out with our toddlers until they reach the big school, when they’re most likely able to understand and control their emotions better. Until then, we (and they) are stuck in this phase where throwing tantrums is the only way that they know how to react to a rush of emotions–meaning, more screaming and misbehaving by the child.

There is, however, a little secret to still practicing effective communication between you and your toddler. By all means, talk to them, but lower the word count. Use approximately as many words as the age of your child and quickly remove him or her from the situation. For two-year-olds who bite, say, “No biting.” For enraged four-year-olds, “We don’t throw toys,” before you leave or take them to the room for some time out. Remember, a sermon or speech would only waste your time and energy. They’re simply impossible to reason with at this point, so keep calm and take action.

Don’t scream back.

Sometimes, it’s the only “solution” left to making ourselves feel better, doesn’t it? Except, it only makes things worse for the little ones. Just put yourself in their shoes for a second. You’re young and too immature to express yourself verbally, and you are not able to understand the situation in front of you. You can’t talk and the “adults” give you a complicated instruction for building a huge toy. As a toddler, the first thing that comes to your mind is to throw things or scream… and the adult screams back at you. How would you feel?

Throwing fits comes naturally to toddlers and when we understand just why they do it, we can (attempt to) manage them better without wanting to throw a fit ourselves. What you can do is to make them feel that how they’re feeling is normal, but you won’t tolerate it any further. An effective action is to quickly show your child the right way to react (again, with a few words!) and stay calm. If they don’t stop, wait until they do and them calmly repeat the action.

Toddlers are just beginning to understand the world around them. It’s our job to help them feel safe, secure and comfortable to be themselves–to test boundaries, practice their pseudo-independence and make some mistakes–until they catch up socially. Don’t forget to also give yourself the chance to grow as a parent and change your parenting style as you deem appropriate. Know what works best for your family and don’t be afraid to trust your instincts.



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