How to tame tantrums coming from toddlers


Kid tantrums are quite the scene, right? It doesn’t matter whether it happens at home or at a public place. They are rarely fun to deal with, but a few child development experts shared with 6 News ways to best handle these outburts when they happen.

It may be embarrassing to deal with says child development expert Claire Vallotton, but instead of panicking and throwing a tantrum yourself, take a moment to identify the situation.

“We have to acknowledge that when a child does that, they need something.”

That doesn’t mean we as parents give in, just understand an uncomfortable outburst may be your child’s only way to communicate.

“Especially with a pre-verbal child with a limited ability to communicate,” says Vallotton. “How do they communicate? They communicate with their bodies, their faces, their voices, and so they are communicating to us with the means that they have.”

In the moment when your child is most upset, they lose their words, so experts say be patient, stay close, and try and remain sane.

“It’s stressful when your children are doing this, especially if you are in Meijer or someplace in public and there they are falling on the floor and you are like, oh no!” says child development expert Denise Graham. “But as a parent you need to stay in your Zen, so to speak, you need to remain calm.”

Then, most importantly, connect with your child to allow them to share their feelings with you once the tantrum ends.

“A lot of times what I start with is the connection,” says Vallotton. “Hey, I’m here, let’s connect. Once you calm down and we’re connected, let’s talk about what just happened.”

This allows for parents to listen and understand, but then use what transpired to teach better ways to handle their emotions for the future. Eventually, this will develope emotional and social skills that are much better managed for the future.

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