Calming an aggressive child is not only difficult but confusing too. If you’re a mother of a toddler then you can understand this statement. It might be a normal thing but it is frustrating and leaves a parent confused about what to do and how to deal with the situation. You can use the following step by step guide to deal with a toddler tantrum.
By thy way: Temper Tantrums are always “out of Control” until you prevent it, figure out the reason or just wait for it to be over.
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Make sure to go through my article about the reasons and stages of tantrums before reading this. You will find link to this post at the end of that article.
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1- Stay calm
The very first step to calm the child is to stay calm on your own self. If you will lose your mind then the situation will end up as a war. The first thing you have to do is “have patience”.
2- Figure out the reason
Figuring out the reason behind the scene is the most important step. It’s not about the reason that what she wants? It’s about the reason of her aggressive behavior. If its bed time? She’s teething? She’s tired or hungry?
3- Don’t try to touch the aggressive child unless..
Touching the aggressive child is not going to work, she won’t let you. Touching her will make her more aggressive but if it looks like she’ll hurt herself or someone them hold her firmly.
4- Ask “why she is crying?”
Ask her what she wants! She needs attention and wants her mama to listen to her. Asking may help her calm down faster. You might be thinking that if we know the reason for crying then why we need to ask her again. That’s because she doesn’t know the “behind the screen” reason, all she knows is that she’s frustrated.
5- Use a Firm tone and discourage crying
You have to discourage crying! So, using neutral or firm tone will show her that you are not happy about this behavior. If you will talk with so much love then she might repeat the behavior again and again.
6- Don’t try to talk
Explaining won’t work. Talking to a screaming child is useless. When she is crying, she will not pay attention to your words. So don’t waste your energy.
7- Don’t give up
Giving up will encourage the tantrums and you’ll see an increase in frequency of such scenes. You know that she is crying for something which is not right so, you don’t have to give up.
Kim (The author of Recounts of Kim) says, “It’s so easy when your child has gone into full meltdown mode to get overwhelmed and cave to whatever demand they want. You may find yourself wanting to pacify and comfort them. But RESIST AND DO NOT DO THIS. In their eyes, you’ve just rewarded this behavior that has just unfolded and it will be repeated.” (Ref)
8- Try to distract her
When you know that you can’t give her what she wants then all you can do is to distract her. Try offering her favorite toys or engage her with anything you are currently doing. Like, if you are cooking then try to engage her with the stuff you cook. You can offer her that thing to eat or may be asking her if the dish seems good. Anything! Whatever suits the situation.
9- If distraction doesn’t work
If distraction doesn’t seem to work then try “silence”. You can just wait for a minute or two! Make sure to maintain eye contact because you know that she needs attention.
10- know the average time of your toddler’s tantrum
Every kid has an average time to throw a tantrum and you must be aware of that time. On average a kid continues crying for 2-2.5 minutes. The average time applies when your kid is physically fine, not hungry or sleepy because if any of the above situations persist your child may continue to scream for longer.
11- Look for “I’m ready to hug” signal
After the stage 3 (outburst), she’ll reach for the stage 3 (Sadness). You’ll see that the intensity of crying is reducing and she’s ready for the comfort.
Related: 5 Stages of the Tantrums
12- Reach for her to hug
Here’s when you can touch her safely. Reach out to her and hug. Tell her that you love her. She is more ready to listen. Not the advice but your words of love.
13- Use polite tone, wipe her tears and hug
Now you can switch your tone to a loving mother’s tone. Wipe her tears, show your love and encourage her to stop crying.
14- Try the distraction again
Distract her again using her favorite toy or anything that suits the situation. She will get distracted more easily.
15- Reward her something to be a good girl
Reward something for not crying. Reward doesn’t mean anything material like candy or a new toy but a long and warmer hug, playing with her or anything that uplifts her mood.
16- Clap for her when she starts smiling
She will eventually start smiling. Things will start turning just like nothing has just happened. Clap for her or cheer her. Tell her that now she is a mommy’s girl.
17- Solve the main problem causing a tantrum
Now when you are done calming the aggressive baby, solve the reason you figured out in step 2. She’s hungry? Feed her. She’s teething? Apply the teething gel or anything to soothe her gums. If she’s crying for something inappropriate for her then take that thing out of her sight. If you don’t solve the core problem immediately then get ready for another tantrum.
18- Talk to them later on
When you feel that she’s in the mood of absorbing the advice. Talk to her politely and let her know the consequences of their act. How you felt when she cried or the harmful effect of the thing she wanted. Tip: Bed time is the best time for advising.
19- Learn for the future
Take every experience as learning. Prevent the tantrum to happen by solving the problem immediately.
I hope this “Step by step guide to deal with a toddler tantrum” helps you in your tough times. If you have any questions or suggestions, please make sure leave a comment.
A word of motivation
And don’t worry the time is just going to fly. They will grow up so fast before even you know it. So don’t get frustrated and enjoy these moments. You are going to miss these things. Yes! Even these tantrums.