Pre-toddler and toddler tantrums!
Tantrums can occur once your toddler has taken their ninth leap in mental development (at about 15 months). To avoid your child turning into an impossible toddler, it is important that from this leap in the pre-toddler period you start setting rules and boundaries to prevent toddler tantrums.
Pre-toddlers and toddlers can have tantrums, it is part of life. But no one wants a child who throws themselves on the floor ten times a day in anger.
How to deal with your toddler’s tantrums.
Can you see that your toddler is about to have a tantrum? Then try and distract them right away. Sing a song, point out that bird flying by, or ask your child to go and get their train or doll, for instance. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you distract them. Prevention is better than cure, and once your toddler is having a tantrum it can be difficult for them to calm down.
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On the floor
Does your pre-toddler or toddler get so worked up that they throw themselves on the floor during a tantrum? Then make sure the environment is safe. Imagine: on a busy Saturday afternoon, your child throws themselves on the floor in the supermarket with arms and legs thrashing around, while all the shoppers are walking around with shopping carts. That is not safe! If your little one has a tantrum at home, then you can place them on a ‘tantrum’ spot to calm down. Do not use their bed for this purpose, their bed is a place for sleeping, and they should feel safe and secure there.
Never let them have their own way
If, for example, your child is whining endlessly for sweets and that ends in a tantrum when they do not get their own way then do not give in to them! Not even when you have visitors and are really not in the mood for a fuss. If you give in to them you are rewarding their tantrum and there is a big chance that your child will have another tantrum next time they do not get their own way.
Do not yell or smack
It is only logical that your blood boils when your child has a tantrum. They scream, yell, and bawl, and you want them out of your sight and earshot. Try and stay calm. If you have to, leave the room for a moment. Do not yell at your child or smack them. As the parent, you have to teach our children how things are supposed to be, they learn by example. You do not want your child yelling or hitting, so you should not do it yourself.
Your baby or toddler can have a tantrum out of frustration because they are not able to do something, for example. The tantrum relieves the frustration, and they cannot actually do anything about it. You can comfort and help your child, but if the tantrum is due to them not getting their own way, you must not give in to them. If you know from experience that your child will be tired after they have spent the day at nursery or kindergarten, then do not schedule in too many things on that day. Do not take them along to visit friends or family, for example. If you do, you increase the chance they will have a tantrum because they are tired.
Once a tantrum has passed, the best thing you can do is remain neutral. But if your child comes to you for a cuddle, give them one, or if they grab a car to play with, go and play with them. Do not bring up the tantrum, it has now passed and is over.
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