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Help Tame Toddler Tantrums

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The toddler stage can be filled with adorable milestones — hugs, dancing, and sloppy kisses, to name a few. But it’s also the time when your little one begins shouting no, throwing toddler tantrums (and food!), and doing exactly what you tell her not to do.

Why does this happen? It’s difficult for children to keep strong emotions in when they’re young, so to express their frustration, they scream, stomp, and cry. Fortunately, this stage of child development doesn’t go on forever. Toddler tantrums often taper off after 3 years of age, once children can use words to communicate their wants and needs.
So how do you discipline, establish good patterns, and nip bad behavior in the bud in the meantime? The key is to be consistent when encouraging good behaviors. Here, the parenting advice that will set you up for success.

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At this age, your child probably feels as if she has no say in her life. After all, she doesn’t get to decide what she has for dinner, whether or not she has to sit in the car seat, or what time she’s going to play in the park.

To help give your toddler a sense of control, provide acceptable options she can choose from throughout the day. Ask her whether she’d like to have grape or orange juice, or wear the red or blue shirt, for example. Giving your tot a say in these types of things will help decrease the chance of a toddler tantrum erupting in situations when she really doesn’t have a choice — such as having to hold your hand when you cross the street.

Stick to a schedule
Toddlers operate best when there’s a consistent routine, so aim to keep mealtimes, naptimes, and bedtimes at the same time each day. And remember that kids this age don’t have a good grasp of time, so saying, “We’ll leave for the zoo in 10 minutes,” means nothing to your tot — and might result in tears when she loses patience. Instead, put the wait time into toddler terms: “We’ll go to the park in the time it takes to sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ three times.”



Member comments

Very helpful
This article has a lot of good tips that I hadn't thought of. EM is my first baby so I sometimes for..

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