Toddler Tantrums – Dos & Dont’s
Subhan’Allah you’ve been blessed with your little cherub now have a toddler. You’ve survived the night feeds, never-ending nappy changes and papoose-induced back pain and you’re beginning to feel like you’ve found your groove and parenting is looking less like a zombie movie and more like a Disney fairy tale.
You can see the quirks and characteristics in your little person coming out and you look forward to each milestone with eager anticipation and parental pride…but then out of nowhere, the tantrums start and boy do they hit hard!
Once you’ve gotten over the disbelief that the wailing banshee in front of you is actually your kin, how do you deal with the situation?
To help you navigate this new parenting challenge, here’s a list of dos and don’ts!
Hit or smack your toddler under any circumstance.
Besides this being the most ineffective method to get your child to do or stop doing anything, it’s also the complete opposite of the Sunnah of parenting. If hitting worked you’d only ever need to do it once, but it doesn’t, so please don’t do it
Shout at your toddler.
Shouting doesn’t teach them to behave. It just shows them how angry you are. Your toddler needs you to be calm and in control, which doesn’t happen if you are having a tantrum of your own.
Put your toddler in time out or on the naughty step.
Time outs don’t work in toddlers because they are too young to process their thoughts and think about their behavior. Rather, being excluded from you at such a young age is traumatizing and sends a message to your child that they are not worthy of being in your company when they are in distress and that your love is conditional upon their ‘good’ behavior.
Ignore your toddler or let them cry it out.
Your child needs some way to release pent up tension, and crying is an easy way for them to do that. Recognize that he needs to feel comforted, not abandoned.
Take it personally.
Your child is not doing anything to you. They are not attacking you and it’s not because they don’t love you. They are throwing a tantrum because at that moment it is the only thing that occurs to them to do. Once the tantrum is over, let it go. Offer a hug so your toddler knows that you love them and then redirect them to a fun activity.
While it’s not easy to pull off, staying calm in the face of a raging toddler has the long term benefit of teaching your child to mirror your own self-control. Give yourself a quick time out if you need to cool down.
When did your child last eat? Did they skip a nap? Try to look past their behavior and figure out the underlying reason why they’re upset. Be empathetic. Do treat your child with respect and love. Be understanding and say something along the lines of “I know it’s hard when you don’t get what you want.”
Find a distraction
If your toddler is easily distracted, take out a favorite book or toy or try giving them a bath to cool down.
Talk to your child in a quiet, gentle tone of voice and be respectful to help her regain composure. Protect your toddler from hurting themselves. If your toddler tends to kick or thrash around during a tantrum, be sure they are in a space where they cannot hurt themselves.
Try holding your toddler
Some children like being held tightly during a tantrum to help them ‘keep it together’ and dissolve their anger. If your child resists this and becomes more furious, don’t force it.
Farah Halabi is a certified Inside-Out Parent Coach. Farah helps stressed out, overwhelmed and overstretched mums discover their own unique awesomeness to lead them to parent in peace, not in pieces.
Farah support mums and women, to uncover their innate awesomeness and lead a life of insightful wisdom and peace. Working with her, helps you to understand how a simple mindset shift can transform and enhance your life in ways you never imagined and more.
Farah believes in coaching through deep connections and her 12 month coaching program reflects this ongoing commitment to and investment in you.