Kim GregoryComment

HOW TO… Handle toddler tantrums

Kim GregoryComment

Speak calmly or say nothing

There is no point trying to reason with a toddler who’s having a tantrum. You will both become even more frustrated. Normally toddlers are overwhelmed by their emotions and simply don’t understand. Be patient and the tantrum will burn itself out eventually. 


Distract them

Fortunately toddlers have a short attention span, so distracting them usually works a treat. Saying ‘Ooh, look at that!’ will often save the day. If there’s a passing cat, truck or, better still, fire engine, you’re in luck.


Don’t give in

It is tempting to give in to a child who is having a tantrum. But as they get older they may learn that this is how to get their own way. It’s hard, but try to be consistent. 


Use humour

Playing a silly game or singing a funny song can work like magic, according to parenting and child behaviour expert Eileen Hayes. ‘A hug or a tickle at the right moment can also change a child’s mood,’ she says.


Find your own way to cope

Staying calm is easier said than done, but losing your temper will only escalate things. Whether it’s taking deep breaths or leaving the room for a few minutes, think about what could help you cope better next time.