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Parenting a toddler ? The A.C.T way to deal with toddler tantrums

Posted in Toddlers on 29th December 2010

Parenting a toddler ? The A.C.T way to deal with toddler tantrums

Parenting a toddler has its own special difficulties, not least the common toddler tantrums. These are not only difficult for a parent to deal with, but toddler tantrums can also cause distress, and in some cases injury, to a toddler, and parenting a toddler requires special skill.

 

There are three simple steps to dealing with tantrums:

 

Avoid
Cope Calmly
Treat the situation consistently

 

A is for Avoidance

 

It might sound obvious, but when parenting a toddler the best way of dealing with a situation like typical toddler tantrums is to avoid them altogether. One of the main causes of tantrums is frustration; your toddler wants to be able to do things beyond their capability. So the first rule is to avoid frustrating situations. Doing things in stages is one way to accomplish this. For example, your toddler wants to dress themselves, let them put on the clothes as they deem right. You can make the changes & do the fastenings later when they are calmer. If your toddler always gets frustrated because they can’t have sweets whenever they want, avoid the situation by providing healthy snacks instead. Deal with things as tactfully and gradually as possible and you will help avoid frustrating situations for your child.

 

C is for Cope Calmly

 

Some children get so frustrated when they have a tantrum that there is a possibility they could hurt themselves and that is the last thing that you want when parenting a toddler. The first thing to do is to make sure your child is safe. This could mean holding them gently so that when they are calm again they feel secure. Also move away things that can hurt them. Watching toddlers get upset and angry is hard but when they are downright annoying that is really tough. However much you want to, do not shout at your child or get angry with them. Once you know they are safe, walk away, pretend it isn’t happening and stay calm. Your child will then know that toddler tantrums won’t achieve anything.

 

T is for Treat the situation consistently

 

Dealing with the aftermath of toddler tantrums is as important as what happens during the event. Never give in to the toddler demands and say you were wrong – always be consistent in what you say. For example, if your child wanted sweets and had a tantrum because you said no, don’t give in afterwards and give the sweets to them – to make you feel better. Parenting a toddler, or a child of any age, will never be easy and no-one will ever feel they have got it right, but avoidance, calm and treating situations consistently will help you and your toddler be happy.