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Reducing Tantrums in Your Toddler

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
Reducing Tantrums in Your Toddler
I've had the pleasure of working with families and their toddlers for the past 20 years and feel I need to pass on my knowledge. It may help build a more positive experience as a parent and help you understand your toddler more. I know just about every trick in the book and a few more. I have been called 'supernanny' by the families I have helped and yes I am English and I drive around in a Mini Cooper with a Union Jack on the roof!

Toddler years are complex and need skilful handling. Children are also very forgiving so you don't have to get it right every time or be a perfect parent. Just try and your child will appreciate your attempts. You will learn from each experience and so will your toddler.


The toddler years can easily become a battleground if not approached wisely and its so easy to get that independent toddler digging his heels in and in no time you have all out WAR. And it's not funny at all.

The toddler will do everything to win and boy does he/she have a repertoire of skills. They often wait till they have an audience like for example when you're out shopping or have friends round to the house. Got the picture?

Tantrums have several stages. The precursor - what set it off. The actual event (the full blown tantrum) and point of no return. At this stage DO NOT WASTE YOUR BREATH! You can't stop it but how you deal with it really matters. That's the important thing. Then you have the post tantrum fall out.

Toddler tantrums occur for several reasons:
  • Tiredness. They're cranky and need a nap. Children start playing up when tired and they do attention seeking/naughty behaviours when they're tired as we give children more attention for naughty behaviours (than good) and it is a way of keeping them awake. The behaviour gets reinforced and voila we've entered a fight!
  • They're trying to make themselves understood and we misread/misunderstand what they're saying or doing.
  • They are hungry. Toddlers are more likely to act up when food is delayed. Their energy needs are greater than ours so they need regular, good quality meals - not high sugar and not highly processed - all this does is contribute to the problem.
  • Their physical development and cognitive development are out of sync.
Rosalie toddler behaviour
So try and keep sleeps/naps regular; think about the dietary needs - a balanced diet of healthy food choices.

No pop or juice EVER and limit sugary foods.

They give a big high followed by a big low and then we tantrum easier.

Listen to your toddler. REALLY listen and misunderstanding is at a minimum.

Next I'll look at now the tantrum has landed what should you do?

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