Try to prevent tantrums from happening in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some ideas that may help:
- Give plenty of positive attention.Get in the habit of catching your child being good. Reward your little one with praise and attention for positive behavior.
- Try to give toddlers some control over little things.Offer minor choices such as “Do you want orange juice or apple juice?” or “Do you want to brush your teeth before or after taking a bath?” This way, you aren’t asking “Do you want to brush your teeth now?” — which inevitably will be answered “no.”
- Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach.This makes struggles less likely. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, especially outside of the home where the environment can’t be controlled.
- Distract your child.Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering something else in place of what they can’t have. Start a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. Or simply change the environment. Take your toddler outside or inside or move to a different room.
- Help kids learn new skills and succeed.Help kids learn to do things. Praise them to help them feel proud of what they can do. Also, start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks.
- Consider the request carefully when your child wants something.Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Choose your battles; accommodate when you can.
- Know your child’s limits.If you know your toddler is tired, it’s not the best time to go grocery shopping or try to squeeze in one more errand.
If a safety issue is involved and a toddler repeats the forbidden behavior after being told to stop, use a time-out or hold the child firmly for several minutes. Be consistent. Don’t give in on safety issues.