Don't get too frustrated - tantrums are normal. Little guys and gals with a limited vocabulary act out their emotions. The first step to avoiding tantrums is understanding what causes them. There are several common reasons:
• Frustration - Toddlers are just beginning to need to have some control; but of course, most of their life is still out of their control. They want to be able to communicate, but their vocabulary is limited. They want to do things for themselves, but are often unable. They want to have things their way, but often can't. All of these things create frustration, and cause tantrums.
• Feeling overwhelmed - Hunger, fatigue and discomfort can all make a child feel overwhelmed and cause tantrums.
• Needing attention - Toddlers often act out just because they don't feel they're getting enough attention. Try spending some more quality time playing with them and you may see an improvement in the number of tantrums.
The best way to deal with tantrums is to plan ahead, so that they never start. There are some fairly easy ways to prevent tantrums; here are a few to get you started.
• Don't put toddler in stressful situations when they're tired or hungry - Taking a toddler to run errands when he's hungry is asking for trouble.
• Establish a routine - Toddlers thrive on routine, because knowing what to expect is comforting to them. Big activities like meals and naps should happen at about the same time each day. Be sure that your child is getting some interaction with other children, too. Playgroups or preschool are a big help, because your child learns that rules apply to everyone.
• Give them some control - Your child will respond positively to the opportunity to make some choices. Make them simple; such as choosing between cereal and a waffle for breakfast. The more you can create situations where your child feels in control, the less they'll resist you.
Remember that tantrums are a phase, depending on your child's temperament, you may not be able to avoid. However, your response to them will, in part, determine how long you have to deal with them. Don't give in to your toddler's demands - that's just teaching them that tantrums work!
Instead, redirect their behavior and don't lose your cool. If you create situations that avoid tantrums, and you handle them effectively when they do occur, you can rest assured that your child will outgrow them. Be loving yet firm, create trusting interactions between you and your toddler, and get down on the floor and play. These three steps will move you through tantrums with peace and joy.