Defusing A Toddler's Tantrum
A child changes rapidly during the toddler stage. For a parent, these years can be among the most enlightening and humorous of their lives, but they can also be incredibly difficult. Often learning to say "no!" for the first time and beginning to develop a distinct personality, toddlers can be irascible and exhausting.
Before you throw in the towel, though, here are a few things to keep in mind as your toddler balls his fists, clenches his eyes and wails until he's red in the face.
Understand the cause
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three main causes for a toddler's tantrum: physical, mental and emotional. Physical disturbances are often the result of thirst or hunger. Mental tantrums, on the other hand, typically come from a child's inability to express him- or herself. Finally, emotional challenges are harder to identify, but often caused by instability, fear or anxiety.
Understanding these different sources of tantrums can help you approach it in the most effective manner. Addressing the underlying source of a tantrum, instead of the tantrum itself, can help bring resolution quickly and, hopefully, peacefully.
In the midst of a tantrum it is easy to lose your cool. Avoid this. Providing stable, calm help can provide the child with the balance he needs to overcome the outburst. Empathizing with the child, while maintaining the necessary discipline will show the child you are in control of the situation and resolution is imminent.
Sometimes the solution is easier than you think. Many times, a child just needs a way of escaping what is distressing them. Offering an alternative to the tantrum might be all the child needs to move on. Taking their mind off whatever is upsetting them can sometimes be the most effective strategy.