Tips To Prevent A Tantrum Altogether
Childhood melt downs are messy, but they are a fact of childhood. Kids aged between one and four haven’t learnt the coping skills yet to understand how to communicate their wants and needs, they tend to just lose it instead. All tantrums stem from one thing, not getting what they want.
Whether its an inability to communicate, for example with a young child who cannot tell you what they want or need to a toddler throwing a tantrum over a candy bar. All tantrums have a root in not getting what they want. (not so different from some adults we know) Here are a few ideas that may help you prevent a tantrum:
1. Avoid situations in which tantrums are likely to erupt. We all get busy, but if you try and stick to a routine with your toddler you may find fewer blowups. Be consistent and when you are going to change activities give your child a warning so they have an idea of what’s coming and wont feel so frustrated when its time to go. We do not guarantee this works when you’re leaving Playland!
2. Communicate with your toddler to prevent a tantrum.
You would be surprised by what your toddler can understand, so don’t underestimate his ability. Tell him your plans for the day and make sure that you stick with them. There will be fewer surprises and fewer upsets. If its going to be a long day, look at tips 6 & 7 to see if you can preempt them and prevent a tantrum.
3. Bring along distractions such as a toy or food item when you are out running errands. This will help your child stay occupied and if they haven’t seen the toys in a while they will be more interested than if you swipe the closest toy on your way out the door.
4. Make sure your child is well rested and fed before you go out. Being tired and hungry are two of the biggest triggers for a tantrum. If your child is already on the edge physically then they are more likely to blow up at the slightest provocation.
5. Put away off-limit temptations if you leave a candy bar on the kitchen counter when its close to meal time (or any time for that matter) you’re likely to have a battle on your hands. If you don’t want your little one to have something you should put it away. Out of sight, out of mind and voila! An easy way to prevent a tantrum.
6. Give Your Kid Incentive to Behave This is a preemptive strategy. When you’re going to ask a lot of your child, for example, sitting through a long ceremony or a restaurant at dinner, you can offer a reward for positive behavior. Prior to the event you know is going to be trying for your child, discuss behavior in a positive way – “I really think you can do it!” and offer the reward. If your child starts to slip then gently remind them of the reward and they will more than likely revert to positive behavior.
This method cannot be used once a child is already in the process of a tantrum as it will only reinforce the concept of a reward for poor behavior.
7. Give Them A Little Bit Of Power As your child gets older, they start to understand that they have needs and wants. If you start to make your toddler responsible for choices, you may find that there is less frustration in their life. Remember that young children still think in the concrete, so offer them choices such as would you like cheese or PB&J on your sandwich today? Rather than what do you want for lunch? When you’re going out, let them choose the toys they want to bring, for example, you can pick two toys and a book to take to grandma’s today. These small choices make them responsible for their outcome – they cant throw a tantrum about being bored if they chose the toys they are bringing. You’ll develop their independence and make them feel important.
Do You Have Any Further Tips To Prevent a Tantrum?