Clear Filters

Tantrums in Toddler: 4 Tips from Child Care Providers in North Carolina

Child DevelopmentParent Resources

15th February 2022

The word “tantrums” alone can make muscles go stiff or have the heart skip a beat. Tantrums, unfortunately, have their own natural place in a child’s development. They strike during that terrible twos phase, sometimes rarely, sometimes often. The ages 1-3 are when our children are starting to develop their communication and language skills. Crying, burbles, and grasping hands are becoming words, emotions, and needs. A tantrum typically occurs when a child is hungry, tired, or uncomfortable but cannot successfully communicate their discomfort. Tantrums can be alarming and frustrating, but they’re also an opportunity to learn something with your child. Here are four child care tips from providers in North Carolina that may help the next time a meltdown strikes.

Know Your Toddler’s Limits

Your toddler’s emotional limits can show up with anything from making simple choices to hitting a wall. Try rephrasing, “Would you like some juice?” Instead, ask, “Would you like orange juice or apple juice?” You could also ask, “Would you like to read your book after dinner or after bath time?” Giving children options gives them control over their situation and helps them develop their communication skills. There may be times when your child is exhausted! Heading to the grocery store in lieu of naptime may not be the best call if they are tired. Let your little one decompress, rest, and go from there, instead of throwing them into an uncomfortable situation.

Shift Their Focus

Perhaps you are keeping off-limits objects out of sight or reach. Maybe you’re taking advantage of your toddler’s flighty attention span. Replacing the source of their frustration with something different can help mellow a tantrum over time. Let your imagination take the wheel. Take them outside to switch up their location. If they are flushed from crying or screaming, some fresh air could help them calm down. Give them a new task or object to replace the previous trigger. Make sure you give them encouraging words and positive attention during these transitions to help them settle back in and reward the good adjustment.

Stay Calm

It probably sounds a lot easier than it looks to stay calm. When your toddler is throwing a tantrum, it can be difficult to not get swept up in the meltdown. However, it is your job to guide your toddler out of the tantrum and help them calm down. Do not give in to the tantrum, as this rewards negative behavior. Instead, find ways to distract or empower your child.

Check-in After

When the tantrum passes after care is key. When your child has regained control, praise them for their accomplishment. Children are self-aware enough to know their outburst was unacceptable, so now is the time to hug them and reassure them they are loved. Take this time to check in with your child. Are they getting enough sleep? Are they hungry? See what they need and what they could have triggered their tantrum if it is not immediately apparent. The most important thing is to give them all the love they need to bounce back from their tantrum.

We know every child is different. There can be triggers that are typical for their age, or sometimes they’re surprising in their occurrence. At Wonderschool, we are invested in quality child care so we can help your child enjoy each activity or overcome any tantrum. If you are looking for North Carolina child care you can trust, we will happily review all our programs and options with you when you contact us.