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Around 23-83% of toddlers aged 2-4 years have temper tantrums. These outbursts are due to their still-developing neurological abilities and their limited vocabulary.
Yet, that doesn't mean you have to endure screaming and destructive behavior. You can learn how to deal with temper tantrums.
Here are 4 tips on how to prevent toddler meltdowns.
1. Know Your Child's Limits
Us adults are experts at doing a little too much. We are used to squeezing in one more errand. We are accustomed to the feeling of doing too much.
But your little toddler isn't. Be considerate of your child's limits. If she has missed a nap or is hungry, it's not a good idea to go shopping or to run an errand.
Dealing with toddler tantrums is easier when at home than when in a large and loud space like a grocery store checkout line.
2. Be Prepared
The best way to prevent a temper tantrum is to be armed and ready for whatever you need to do.
This means bringing along an interactive book or toy and a few snacks. Note that offering extra screen time can lead to more tantrums. Avoid handing over your phone.
Toddler meltdowns are typically the result of being denied something. By having your own tools at the ready, you can distract and prevent temper tantrums.
3. Give Plenty of Warning
A toddler meltdown often takes place during a transition. Like when it's time to leave the park or friend's house.
Young children like to know what comes next and when. They don't like abrupt changes.
The easiest trick for how to deal with temper tantrums is to prevent them. Whenever there is a transition, give your little one specific details about it.
Five more minutes doesn't mean much to a child. Instead say something like, "after five more turns sliding down the slide, we will go home."
Make it fun by counting up or down and get your toddler involved.
4. Offer Choice
Your child is desperate for control. You might be surprised at how happy he or she is once you allow more autonomy.
Instead of telling your toddler what to do, offer a choice between two options. Would you like to have a bath or brush your teeth first?
Would you like to listen to music or a story in the car on the way to Grandma's?
By offering choices (within limits you have set) you allow your child to develop a sense of control on their environment.
This also avoids the "no" fiasco when you ask your child to brush their teeth. Their growing young minds can't comprehend that "no" is a choice. Most of the time, they will make a choice.
How to Deal with Temper Tantrums
As you know from experience, it is harder to diffuse a screaming toddler than it is to keep one content.
Use these tips to prevent a tantrum and before you know it, your child will have passed the stage of tantrums.
Check out more of our blog posts to keep you informed about raising children.