Two- and 3-year-olds have many skills, but controlling their tempers is not one of them. Tantrums are common at this age because toddlers are becoming independent and developing their own wants, needs, and ideas.
However, they are not yet able to express their wants and feelings with words. Take comfort in the fact that most children outgrow tantrums by age 4.
|Love to say “No!” “Mine!” and “Do it myself!”||Need lots of fun activities, play times, and opportunities to explore the world|
|Test rules over and over to see how parents will react||Respond well to a routine for sleeping and eating (a regular schedule)|
|Are not yet ready to share||Like to imitate grownups and to “help” mom and dad|
What You Can Do:
|• Direct your child’s attention to something else. (“Wow, look at that fire engine!”)||• Say what you expect from your child and have confidence that your child will behave.|
|• Give your child a choice in small matters. (“Do you want to eat peas or carrots?”)||• Remain calm. You are a role model for your child.|
|• Stick to a daily routine that balances fun activities with enough rest and healthful food.||• Holding your child during a tantrum may help a younger child feel more secure and calm down more quickly.|
|• Anticipate when your child will be disappointed. (“We are going to buy groceries for dinner. We won’t be buying cookies, but you can help me pick out some fruit for later.”)||• Take your child to a quiet place where he or she can calm down safely. Speak softly or play soft music.|
|• Praise your child when he or she shows self-control and expresses feelings with words.||• Some children throw tantrums to seek attention. Try ignoring the tantrum, but pay attention to your child after he or she calms down.|
|• If you cannot prevent the tantrum, here are some tips for dealing with it:||• Resist overreacting to tantrums, and try to keep your sense of humor. Do not let your child’s behavior cause you to lose control too.|
Adapted from the 2018 Prevention Resource Guide
For more information on keeping kids safe, visit our website at www.dakotacac.org
call (701) 323-5626.
This post was recently published in the Dakota Catholic Action.