Everyone has been in a grocery store and witnessed a toddler having a temper tantrum, or visited family friends and a little one gets upset at the dinner table. It's easy to think that your own kids would never have tantrums... but once you become a parent, you realize that these things happen and it's a normal part of being a little kid.
There are many things that you can do when your normally even-tempered and adorable, sweet kid starts getting upset. Read on to find out 10 ways to tame a temper tantrum.
10 Ask What's Wrong
When a little one has a temper tantrum, they're not going to necessarily come right out and say what's bugging them. They might start screaming or crying (or both), and when you're in a busy store or public place, this can be overwhelming for both of you.
In order to tame a temper tantrum, ask your child what's wrong. You can also let them know that if they explain what's going on, you can help them out. Once you get to the heart of the matter (they wanted to stay at that play date longer, they want to go home, etc.) you can find a solution.
9 Talk It Through
When a kid is super upset, it can be tough for them to really talk. Wait until your little one has calmed down a little bit and then talk it through.
You can have a conversation about how they wanted to hang out with their friend for a little while longer, but you had to pick them up because it's almost dinnertime and then it's time to go to bed. Whatever is upsetting them, this discussion will give them the chance to get their feelings and thoughts out, and that will help them feel much better.
8 Skip The Sugary Snacks
When a kid is really upset, it could seem like a trip to a bakery or ice cream shop might be a good idea. This will cheer them up, right?
But when you want to tame a temper tantrum, skipping the sugary snacks or treats is definitely the way to go. Sugar can make kids more hyper, and you don't want them to start associating sweets with throwing tantrums.
7 Give Them A Favorite Toy Or Mention Something Comforting
Are you at home? Give your child a favorite toy or stuffed animal, which will help them feel more happy and peaceful in this moment. If you're out, mention something that will bring them comfort, such as watching a beloved movie when you return home.
Sometimes when we're upset or feeling negative, we want to be distracted, so the same thing works here.
6 Say That Feelings Are Valid
When your kid is having a temper tantrum, you can also say that their feelings are valid. They might be even more upset that they've gotten so upset. It's good to explain that everyone has feelings and it's okay to experience them.
Once your little one gets more comfortable with their changing emotions, they can start to understand them, and they won't feel so scary.
5 Leave For A Quieter Place
If you're in a supermarket or other store when your kid starts having a tantrum, it's a good idea to leave for a quieter place. You can go talk in your car where it's private. If you're at a family's house for a holiday dinner or celebration, you can head into the backyard (if it's nice out) or find a bathroom away from everyone else.
Taming a temper tantrum is best done without a lot of other people around. This will give your little one the time to feel better, and they will appreciate the extra attention that you're giving them.
4 Think About What Else Could Be Going On
There are many reasons why temper tantrums happen. Your kid could love going grocery shopping with you so it doesn't make sense why they're so upset today.
They could be tired, nervous about the school year starting (or nervous that an older sibling is going to school and they're not), or it could be really warm outside. Figuring out what else is going on in is always a good idea.
3 Take Some Deep Breaths Together
Taming a temper tantrum can also be achieved by sitting down somewhere with your child and taking some deep breaths together. These breathing exercises are often part of yoga classes and other meditation practices, and they work really well.
Focusing on your breath will always help with nerves or anxious feelings. Once kids are feeling calmer, it's easier for them to move on from the tantrum and return to their regular self.
2 Water Or A Healthy Snack Could Be The Answer
Sometimes kids throw tantrums because they're actually thirsty or hungry. Even if they swear that they don't want anything to eat, you might realize that it's been several hours since lunch, so it's a good idea to have an apple and cheese or some peanut butter. They could be reacting this way because it's a low blood sugar reaction.
This is a good reminder for us, too. Sometimes it's easy to forget to drink enough water.
1 When They're Calm, Talk About Next Time
Kids like looking ahead and knowing what's coming. When your kid is feeling calmer, you can talk to them about what to do the next time that they're feeling this way.
While temper tantrums are going to happen, you can still help your kid come up with some strategies for dealing with their feelings. Maybe when they get upset, they can tell you what's going on right away so you can talk to them about it. Or they can find a quiet place and take a minute to themselves. It won't work perfectly because they will still get overwhelmed by emotions because they're so young, but it's definitely a good start.