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10 Hacks to Tame Toddler Tantrums

10 Hacks to Tame Toddler Tantrums

Toddlers don’t need a good reason to flick the tantrum switch. They’ll let rip anywhere, anytime. The bigger the audience, the better! Here are some tips to help you dodge those meltdown moments…

1. Distraction

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    When you see the signs of a tantrum building, nip it in the bud… point out an interesting bug, change the subject, whip out your secret stash of bubbles. If possible, physically move away from whatever is provoking the eruption. Diffusing a bomb is better than picking up pieces after it has blown.

    2. Pick your battles
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      Decide which issues are absolute musts – brushing teeth, being strapped into a car chair – don’t budge on those.The rest of it? Be gloriously flexible.  Does it really matter if her t-shirt clashes with her pants, or if she goes to daycare in her slippers? The short person in your life is at an age where they will argue with you for the fun of it. Don’t get sucked in!

      3. Get her wet

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        If it’s winter, run a bath. Summer? Head outdoors to the nearest beach, river, pool, fountain… sprinkler. Water is magical in how quickly it settles grumpy small people. Even a large tub outside in the sun, with a variety of plastic cups and jugs will do the trick. Wetting feet and making footprints can also be quite exciting for a toddler who has never noticed their own tracks before.

        4. Find an animal
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          The soothing effect of a child-friendly pet cannot be under-estimated. Somewhere between the soft fur and tickly whiskers, your wound-up kid may just unravel to a puddle of happy compliance.

          5. Medicine? Drink bubbles!
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            Most liquid medication can do with a good shake before being poured into a spoon. Shaking causes bubbles and these bubbles are your key to avoid being spraypainted in medicine that your toddler isn’t keen on. Presenting your child with a spoon of ‘bubbles’ instead of ‘medicine’ can make all the difference in their wilingness to swallow.

            6. Hairwashing: sorted
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              The easiest way to wash hair in a bath is to get your little one to lie back, and let you get on with it. The challenge is getting her there! Line up some toys on the bath rim behind your child’s back. Bottles of shampoo will also do. When they are ready to have their hair washed, let them lie back on your hand and tell them to look at the goodies you’ve spread out behind them. While you are washing, ask questions. What can you see that is blue? What color is the frog? What is hiding behind the yellow bottle?

              7. Go Outside

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                Being cooped up inside all day, is a recipe for grumpiness. Break the rut and go for a walk outside. Fresh air, interesting bugs and leaves, a change of scenery, all make the perfect antidote to cabin fever.

                8. Get moving

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                  Any unused energy that lurks in your little ones system, will make the next tantrum more spectacular. Put on some loud music and bop around the lounge. Find a jungle gym and let your toddler climb, hang and swing. Use that energy to benefit their bodies, rather than fuel a meltdown.

                  9. Let them help you

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                    I know this thought is enough to lace gray through your hair. Toddler-help means extra mess, a job that takes five times longer and results that are far from perfect. The truth is, your child loves nothing more than being with you and doing whatever you are doing. Every small job you give them, deposits into their skill bank and grows their confidence. Kids who do stuff with the adults in their lives, grow up to be problem solvers who take intiative.

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                    10. Enjoy their company

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                      Toddlers are a non-stop whirl of mess, energy and the question ‘why’? It is not odd to feel drained after spending a few hours together, even more so when you’re on parent-duty 24/7. But they are also inquisitive, loving and fun to be around. When you feel overwhelmed, step back, take a moment to breathe. Allow yourself to see the delightful side of this awesome little person who shares life with you. Laugh together at silly things and don’t let small issues get in the way of big love.

                      Your unconditional love and acceptance will help them navigate the stormy waters of those early years. When you look again, toddler tantrums will be nothing more than a memory.

                       

                       

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                      Featured photo credit: SophiaCorrect5.jpg by martinispygirl via mrg.bz

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                      10 Hacks to Tame Toddler Tantrums The Difference Between Being Successful and Being Happy 21 Gifts for Mom That Don’t Cost Money How to Fake It Till You Make It While Running On No Sleep 10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

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                      Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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