Toddler tantrums can be challenging for both parents and children. These outbursts are a normal part of a child's development, but they can be frustrating and exhausting for parents to deal with. So be kind to yourself. This isn’t easy.
As a parent, it's important to have strategies in place to help you work through tantrums and support your child's emotional development. One strategy for dealing with tantrums is to remain calm and composed. It's natural to feel frustrated and overwhelmed when your child is melting down. But staying calm can help de-escalate the situation as you and your child co-regulate your emotions together.
All feelings are okay, but all expressions of those feelings are not. So another strategy is to validate your child's feelings. It's important to acknowledge that your child is feeling upset. Letting your child know that it's okay to feel upset and that you are there to support them can help them feel heard and understood, which can help them calm down.
It's also important to set boundaries. By setting clear boundaries and limits, you can help your child understand what is and is not acceptable behavior. When you are setting boundaries you always want to *teach* your child what to do instead. So a simple “It’s okay to be mad but it isn’t okay to hit someone. If you’re feeling mad you can squash this stress ball or stomp your foot to express how mad you are” can go a long way in not only teaching your child what not to do, but what to do instead. This helps prevent tantrums in the future and teaches your child important skills for managing their emotions.
Dealing with toddler tantrums can be challenging, but there are strategies that can help. By remaining calm, validating your child's feelings, and setting boundaries, and teaching them what to do instead, you can work through tantrums and support your child's healthy social emotional development.
social-emotionalCheck out the Earlybird app if you want more easy parenting strategies and play ideas for building your child’s social-emotional skills.
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