How to tame a tantrum throwing toddler.

If you’re the parent of a child over the age of 14 months old, chances are that he or she has started throwing the most hair-raising tantrums. Consider yourself very lucky if he or she bypassed this all together! However most of us should be prepared for this next phase. How exactly do you tame those temper tantrums? One mom shares her tips…

There’s no doubt that as a toddler becomes a little more mobile and seeks more independence, it can make the early years particularly challenging. So what’s a frustrated Mamma (or Papa) to do? Here are 5 things to remember when your tiny-tot hits the ground, rolling.

1. Don’t replicate their behavior.
There was an ad doing the rounds a few years ago of a child, who threw a tantrum in a supermarket. His mother lies down on the floor and joins him in an attempt to get him to stop. It worked. I found it funny when I saw it as single person without a pint-sized tantrum thrower of my own. While it worked in the ad, it doesn’t work in real life. I’ve tried it. It only aggravates and encourages your child that this sort of behavior is acceptable when it is not.

Keep your cool. Your toddler doesn’t know how to manage his/her own emotions but you know how to manage yours.

2. Give them enough ‘safe-space’
If your tantrum-throwing-tot decides that body-slamming his teddies is how he wants to react to the news that shoes are not optional in the pouring rain. Give him the space to do so, safely, and leave him be. If he insists on body-slamming his little brother however, move him to a quiet and safe spot in another room.

Ignore the tantrum. Yelling back or reacting to the tantrum only reinforces the behavior that what he is doing is okay.

3. Assess the situation
Assess the fundamentals firsts (food, sleep, comfort). Could your toddler just be hungry, tired, wet or perhaps all three?

Your little one might be incredibly frustrated because she can’t zip up her top, use the velcro on her shoes or any number of tasks she thinks she’s able to master and she might throw a tantrum purely to vent this frustration. So comfort her. If she’s throwing a wobbly because you put the cap back on the toothpaste or she didn’t get her way and lashes out, refer to the point above. Move her to a quiet and safe spot in another room in order to calm down.

This is an exciting but equally frustrating time for your child and she will want to try and do as much as she can for herself.

4. You are NOT the UN. Do NOT negotiate.
Don’t cave. Don’t give in. Don’t give the little tantrum-throwing-tot what he wants because it might keep the peace and make him stop. To do so, only reinforces that behaving negatively get’s your attention. And some attention is better than no attention at all. Ignore him if you can.

Instead reinforce positive behavior by giving your toddler praise and positive attention. You managed to eat all your food without throwing any of it on the floor this evening, oh you are a little star aren’t you!

5. They will grow out of it. Eventually.
It’s best to start managing the tantrum phase as soon as it’s starts. And like all phases it’s one that they’ll (hopefully) grow out of.

Identify what triggers a tantrum and try to minimize this as best you can.

Be consistent. Agree an approach you and your partner are both comfortable with. Consistency, like routine, is key when dealing with a toddler.

If your little one doesn’t like bath time, nap time etc. get him/her to help you get the bath or dinner ready, throw in the bubbles, pick pj’s, put dirty clothes in the laundry basket etc. Anything at the age of a tantrum-throwing-toddler can be turned into a game!


About the Author
Sharon is a mom, wife, blogger, and business-woman (in that order). She spent her corporate career in Human Resources before leaving sharonit all behind and now divides her time looking after her business interests and running after an active toddler. She enjoys anything craft related, and is slightly addicted to Pintrest. And chocolate. And wine (in that order).


Want to write for Cute Baby SA? Send us an email about yourself, your interests and your ideas and we could feature your article here.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *