Oh, it’s going to happen. No matter how well-prepared you are. No matter how many advice columns you’ve read, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. It. Will. Happen.
A full-blown toddler temper tantrum.
Sometimes, you can see it coming from a mile away. (Hello, missed nap time.) Sometimes, it completely takes you by surprise (Today, we don’t like blue.). It grabs hold of your sweet, precious little child and turns him into someone you barely recognize. And it can push you to your wit’s end, too.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Experienced toddler parents know there are a few tricks that keep a tantrum from beginning, or stop one in its tracks.
A favorite snack
Is a tantrum brewing in the worst possible place? Maybe the bride is just about to march down the aisle, or it’s a family dinner in a very un-family friendly restaurant? Whatever the situation, try giving your child a few bites of his or her favorite snack. It’s often enough to get them to focus on something they enjoy, and to calm down.
Are things falling apart in the living room? Move to the bedroom. Stressed in the playroom? Cuddle on the couch. Is being inside simply too much? Take a walk.
If nap time has come and gone but the tantrum persists, have your child try a little “quiet time” in his or her room. Encourage them to look at a book or play quietly until they feel better. (Bonus: you’ll get some much needed quiet time, too.)
Put on some music and dance! Your frustrated and upset child will probably start to dance with you, too. Soon, everyone will be feeling better.
So, yes…tantrums are just part of parenting. After all, no one ever said it was easy. But my goodness, it is worth it!