Temper Tantrum Practical Strategies That Work
This page explains ways to help avoid your child's next outburst.
These tips relate to Frustration tantrums and Want My Own Way tantrums - see why tantrums happen for more about the difference between the two.
The section on preventing behaviour problems has some good general ideas that also apply to helping your child avoid emotional outbursts.
Below are my tried-and-tested strategies for preventing any temper tantrum before it even starts:
...to your child whenever you can. Obviously you can't do this 24/7, but there are things that you can leave until later: long phone calls, the washing up, paying bills etc if your toddler needs some one-to-one time.
Diverting your toddler's attention from the cause of the imminent temper
explosion is a brilliant tactic, whichever type of tantrum you've got
on your hands. Go to distraction techniques for an exhaustive list of effective tricks to take any young child's mind off a potential meltdown.
Frustration tantrums happen when a toddler's desire outstrips her ability to achieve something.
How can they can be prevented?
Restrict Difficult Activities
your toddler is not attempting games or activities that are too
complex. Put away certain birthday/Christmas presents for a few months
if you feel they are too much for her.
Guide New Activities
Support your toddler when she is tackling an unfamiliar task. For example:
As your toddler gets older, you will judge better when she is ready for new challenges.
Want My Own Way' tantrums happen when things are indeed not going your toddler's way.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid tantrums of this type:
Identify Tantrum Triggers
Are there any particular 'triggers' that you can avoid by planning ahead? What about:
Spend some time observing those things that lead to outbursts - you might be surprised at how easy it is to avoid tantrums in this way.
Offer A Substitute
Are these situations familiar:
Good substitutes to prevent temper tantrums are things like:
are not only an effective way to avoid tantrums (after all, they work
on us adults!) - they teach children to compromise, which is a valuable
Pick Your Battles:
Avoid creating conflict where there is no need for it.
For example, your toddler is very engrossed in his toy garage. You suddenly remember a letter you need to post today - it's absolutely essential that it goes a.s.a.p.
You can try to force him to leave his play -
or recognise the need to sell the idea. After all, it is not his fault
that you are suddenly in a rush to post your letter. A bit of emergency bribery is preferable to a tantrum in this situation.
Any temper tantrum prevention kit has its limits. There will always be times when tantrums are unavoidable - they are a natural part of growing up. Go to dealing with tantrums for some coping strategies that work with either type of outburst.
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