How to Stop Your Toddler Having a Tantrum

A choose your own adventure guide to dealing with the terrible twos… Trying to find ways to stop your toddler having a tantrum?

Not to be unfeeling, but, HAHA. Good luck.

how to stop a toddler having a tantrum

I recently ordered a few books on the toddler years as I realised I hadn’t read anything since I was pregnant. One of them is called ‘Toddlers are A**holes’. (I’m not saying I agree, but I did hit ‘order’ in about 20 seconds.)

In the spirit of survival, I thought I’d put together a few techniques to deal with a tantrum-ing toddler, and turn those ear-splitting screams into gurgles of delight. (Or at least save them from turning into your own personal screams of torture.)

They’re all 100% guaranteed to work every time*.

*While this is untrue, a PMA (positive mental attitude) always helps, and reading this will hopefully at least offer you a moment of light relief as you imagine your pre-child-self happily living life without a wailing mini-human clinging limpet-like to your right ankle.

Tantrum Solutions: Choose Your Own Adventure

Your toddler is having a tantrum. First, pick a location:

  1. The supermarket
  2. A restaurant
  3. The park
  4. A family party
  5. Your house

Now find the corresponding solution:

  1. SUPERMARKET Ding ding ding, you’re surrounded by solutions. If the promise of some sort of cake, bread-stuff, cheese or yet another plastic bath toy won’t will them up off the aisle floor, lift them by an ankle into an empty trolley, run supermarket-sweep style to the household aisle and pile 10 9-packs of Andrex on top of them. Should muffle the screams.
  2. RESTAURANT A favourite spot for a melt-down, after all, you have asked them to sit in a high chair for more than two and a half minutes. And the waiter has, as usual, brought over and presented to your child food so hot that the surface of the sun itself would help to cool it. Hopefully you’ve chosen a loud, bustling location for your meal, and you can simply peel the screaming toddler from their seat, fold them under the table and feed them scraps of chips until you’ve ordered the bill. If you’ve chosen a quiet, sophisticated sort of venue for your meal, simply pack everything up, leave a large tip, return home as quickly as possible and have a long hard look in the mirror. You’re making some very questionable life choices.
  3. PARK The park is a busy place. You could try swapping your toddler for a quieter one. I’M NOT SAYING I’VE DONE IT. (Or that it would be easy.)
  4. PARTY What are family for if not to advise you on how they would better raise your children? Use this as a prime time to allow them to demonstrate while you fix yourself a strong drink.
  5. HOME Peppa Pig and her brother George are usually pretty capable when it comes to crisis talks. It’s advisable to let them handle things while you put the kettle on.

Tried your chosen solution and your toddler is still broken?

Fear not. Below are several more ways to stop a toddler having a tantrum…

MORE PARENTING: The truth about your mummy voice

Breathe Deeply

Yes, you. Jokes aside, if you stay calm they’ll snap out of it about 10 times quicker. Or it will feel like it, way more so than if you start sweating profusely and try to wrestle with them.

Cuddle Them Out of It

If they’re not doing the angry octopus bit, see if you can give them a hug. They’re experiencing some sort of emotion they don’t yet know how to express and process. Tell them it’s ok that they’re feeling it, and that you’re there for them.

Leave & Check

If they’re really, really going for it, and you seem to be making it worse, you may be best just leaving them to burn out and checking on them every few minutes.

Repeat this last method for roughly 2 years and they should have grown out of it.

READ MORE: How to Care Less About What People Think

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