Tantrums are a way for your child to “vent” feelings that are becoming overwhelming for them to be able to handle.
If your child is between 18 months to 3 years old, they will rebel against your authority and assert themselves some of the time - this is a normal part of being a toddler.
- Resentment of any form of control.
- A striving for independence, making more demands and being defiant.
- Swinging back and forth between independence and clinginess.
- Wanting control and trying to control you.
- Constantly saying “No”.
Dealing with Tantrums
There are some things that can trigger tantrums in almost any child, regardless of their character. Below are some suggestions and strategies you could use to help avoid the toddler tantrums whenever possible.
Even if you think a tantrum is about to explode, there is often time to divert your child attention. Quickly introduce a new toy or point out something that is happening for your child to see. Simply saying “can you hear that?” - “look at that on top of the tree” can work well in diverting your child's attention.
If you quickly offer your child a toy, they will happily give up what you need. By using this method offer your child a substitution rather than taking something away. For example, if your child draws on tables, offer paper. If your child wants the book you are reading, get another one for your child to look at. Even if you take something away and give your child a substitution, they will still be engaged in what you gave them.
Spotting a Pattern
If your child has a lot of tantrums, it's a good idea to keep a record of them. When you record your child's tantrums, consider what the situation was just before the tantrum started. By doing this you can see how the tantrum develops and try to stop it. For example, if your child throws a tantrum while you are preparing dinner, offer your child an activity they could do in the meantime or ask your child to help you out.