Toddlers are quite hard to take care of. They are at an age when they are developing their sense of independence and preference but still do not have the strong verbal abilities to express themselves. This results in a lot of screaming and tantrums. They also use this negative behavior to call attention to themselves. This kind of behavior is enough to frazzle the nerves of the most devoted and understanding parent.
If you are having problems calming an unruly toddler try to follow the parenting tips below. These are some of the most effective ways to make a toddler calm down.
Parenting tip # 1: Identify the root of the problem
Toddlers may be like live bombs ready to explode anytime, but there’s always something that will trigger it. Identify what made them get angry. It could be that they are tired or feeling sleepy, a common trigger. They could also be hungry or someone did something they didn’t like. There could also be a hidden trigger of toddler anxiety. Zero in on the cause and when you resolve it, they will most definitely calm down.
Parenting tip # 2: A daily routine helps
Toddlers are a creature of habit. They don’t really like surprises or changes in their daily routine. They like that they can anticipate what will happen next. That’s why establishing a daily routine that you diligently follow will lessen any tantrum episodes. His meal times and bath times should be done at the same time everyday. This also goes for his playtimes and naptimes.
Parenting tip # 3: Don’t let the tantrums affect you
This could be very hard to do especially if the tantrums or crying episodes happen at the end of a long and tiring day. But this is quite important. You have to show that you are not affected by what your toddler is doing. Show that you’re getting frazzled and they’ll pick up on it and just get more upset. You also shouldn’t let the tantrums drive you to give in. Be firm in your decision. One of the easiest fixes would be to just give in to what they want. But this is just going to cause you more problems in the future because they will realize that by throwing a tantrum they can get what they want. By being firm he will realize that a tantrum is not an effective way of getting what he wants. Talk to him after he has calmed down. The key parenting tip here is consistency. Just like with establishing routines you should also be consistent in saying no to the same things and activities.
Parenting tip # 4: Distract him, quick!
Distracting your toddler can divert his attention from his actual tantrum. One good thing about toddlers is that they can get distracted easily. If he has a favorite toy or activity, give it to him and they could calm down and completely forget the reasons for their fit. Another way to use distraction is to just simply remove him from the environment where he threw the tantrum. Removing him from the trigger could help calm him down. When he is older you can then introduce the concept of a ‘time out’ – keeping him in a place where he can just calm down and the lack of activity will force him to think about what happened. (Read our parenting tips on effective time outs.) Talk to him at the end of his time out and explain why he was given a time out.
Photo from essentialbaby.com.au