Baby Tantrums and How to Tame Them

Child Showing baby tantrums

If you’re the parent of a baby or toddler, there’s a fair chance that you’ll have to deal with a tantrum at one point or another. Baby tantrums can difficult to deal with in the moment. So it’s important that you have a game plan ahead of time. To help you put together that game plan, we’ll be going over what tantrums are? how to tell them apart from meltdowns? Some tools you can use to calm your child down.

What Is a Tantrum?

Tantrums in toddlers are explosive episodes of anger that usually stem from a child feeling like they’ve slighted or not getting what they want. Oftentimes, they’re an attention-seeking behavior used to get what they want. Many parents will give in to their child’s demands just to make the tantrum stop, but this only further reinforces the behavior in the long run.

Meltdown vs. Tantrum

parents and sad kid at therapy

Though they may present similarly at first, it’s important to note that meltdowns and tantrums aren’t the same thing. Baby tantrums are intentional, and used by the child to get their way. They’re a problematic behavior that can correct and as long as you continue to correct them, your child will soon grow out of them.

Meltdowns, on the other hand, are quite different. They’re easily mistaken for tantrums, but their causes and solutions are entirely different. Meltdowns caused by sensory overload and are especially common in children with conditions like ADHD and autism. They’re not voluntary and shouldn’t punish. Rather, you should work with your child to figure out how to calm them down during a meltdown. It may help to teach them grounding exercises, remove them from the stressful situation, or identify and avoid potential triggers ahead of time.

How to Handle Baby Tantrums

Mother playing with child

As we mentioned above, it’s best to avoid giving your child what they want during a tantrum, as this will simply encourage them to throw more tantrums. How do you handle tantrums in toddlers, though? Here are a few things you can try.

  • Validate emotions, but don’t encourage outbursts. One of the most important lessons your child needs to learn is that while their emotions are valid. They don’t give them the right to lash out at others. If your child has a tantrum, let them know that you understand why they’re frustrated, but encourage them to stay calm when expressing it. They’ll quickly learn that when they express frustration in a calm and respectful way, it’s easier to find a common ground where both parties can be happy.
  • Teach your child to use their words. Rather than express their emotions through outbursts, your child needs to learn to express their emotions through words. Encourage your child to tell you why they’re upset, rather than just screaming or crying. If you know why they’re upset, you can take steps to solve the problem. Once you’ve taught them this, it’ll be infinitely easier to resolve conflicts.
  • Model calm behavior, and reward your child for doing the same. 
Mother calming down baby tantrums

If your child is throwing a loud, explosive tantrum, the worst thing you can do is match their behavior. If you respond to their screaming and crying by raising your own voice, they’ll only become more upset and harder to communicate with. Instead, stay calm no matter what your child is doing. If you’re not responding to their anger in kind, it becomes harder for them to stay angry. Once they’ve calmed down, clearer communication can take place.

  • Practice breathing with your child. A lot of the time, baby tantrums can stop simply by diverting your child’s attention. One of the best ways to create this diversion is to practice breathing exercises. If you notice your child getting upset, start doing a breathing exercise alongside them. Slowly take a deep breath in, and slowly breathe it out. Continue doing this for 30-60 seconds, or until your child has started to calm down. With that done, you can tackle the issue in a much more productive way.
  • Reward your child’s good behavior. Make sure that your child knows that it pays to be calm and respectful. If they’ve communicated well about why they’re upset, be willing to compromise with them! Maybe they just want five more minutes of playtime, a bit longer before they have to go to bed, or some other minor request. If it won’t cause too much trouble, we encourage you to grant that request. This teaches them that even though they can’t always get what they want, a little bit of communication goes a long way

Looking for more great tips, tricks, and products to help your child grow into an emotionally healthy and well-balanced adult? Feel free to visit our site at ToysCentral today!

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