I tried pretty much everything that has worked before when she starts being irrational: Correcting, explaining why, hugging, ignoring the tantrum, distracting and so on... Unfortunately these things weren't quite working the last few days. Thankfully (through much prayer), I figured out it was a mix of sleepiness, and teething that was the issue. What helped us get past these tantrums was orajel naturals and nap time early.
But when we were knee deep in tear stained cheeks and screaming fits with Toddler P., I decided to go to the internet and ask other parents what they have found helpful to stop tantrums with their kids. I thought I would share their responses with you:
- Identify feelings. Marissa shared - "Identify her feelings with her. 'I know, you're feeling mad because you can't have the thing you want! Mad mad mad! It makes me angry when I can't have the things I want!' or 'You are so sad that daddy went to work! You want him to play all day! It makes me SO SAD when daddy goes to work.'"
- Don't assign feelings. Sybil responded to Marissa's opinion with - "Yes, 'sportscasting' what's going on is a great technique. I avoid assigning my daughter feelings if possible and just state the circumstances. 'I said you can't have that toy. But you really want it. It's a fun toy. I know.'"
- Distract. Sunshine - "I usually try distraction first and if that doesn't work then I ignore the tantrum."
- Ignore the bad behavior. Nicole - "I ignore and walk away. It stops the tantrum the fastest with my son. I've also tried imitating him when nothing else worked, and sometimes that makes him laugh, but I'm not sure that's the best strategy."
- Loretta - "I find that it helps my son to go in a different location to calm down. I usually say something like, 'I know you are upset and its okay, do you need time to yourself for a moment?'... This always works. When he is done, he comes out for a kiss and a hug. I always ask if he wants to talk about it."
- Take him/her outside. Elyse - "I let my son be alone for a little bit in the crib or playpen, or sometimes I just take him outside. We sit in the grass quietly/watch the birds. My son's just started those tantrums so they aren't as severe as the ones your probably dealing with. He always stops crying when I take him outside."
- Create a calm down spot. Teresa works with kids and said - "When I do therapy with young kiddos I usually have parents create a calm down spot. Maybe use a bottle and fill it with water, glitter, and other distracting knick knacks that will soothe her visually (and will also distract)."
- Talk them through. Jess - "I tell my son that everything is okay and to calm down. I tell him he needs to show me or use his words for what he wants. He will be 2 in a month. So communication has really improved."
- Assign a timeout area. This advice really only would work for slightly older toddlers/kids (starting maybe at 3 or 4). Since you need them to be of an age they can understand a timeout.
- Heidi - "Depending on the severity of the tantrum... I'd just ignore it, but there were times I would put our child(ren) in their crib until they stopped... Usually they'd cry themselves to sleep and they were great kids for the rest of the day... This would be much like a time out... I think."
- Naida - "Looking at a blank wall was the worst thing ever for my girls. I'd either sit them on a chair or have them stand and face a blank wall. Length of time depended on age and severity of the 'crime.'"
What's your opinion? How have you dealt with temper tantrums with your child?