Bayo Ajibola

5 Ways to Counter Tantrums

When children get to toddlers age it is a joy for both parent and child. Your child is learning to speak and do things for herself and it is very fulfilling to know that you have walked this journey with her. The other side of this story is that your little princess realizes she can now speak (even though it is just five words), her confidence is up a few notches, she realizes she has an opinion and can actually voice it out in a language you can understand and she goes ahead to do so. Unfortunately it is not always “Yes mommy”. No is the new yes!

Handling a toddler throwing tantrums can be very frustrating, especially if you are in a public place and everyone is looking at you like you are the worst mother on the planet. Thankfully there are a few tricks you should learn to make this situation work the way you want it to.

Make light of the situation

When you are about to get your toddler to do something that they usually do not like you can make jokes about that activity or make funny faces as you help your child complete the activity. You can also make a game out of it and it will be completed sooner than you think with little trouble. The idea is to distract them from the activity and put focus on something else as they continue with the activity they don’t like.

Lead by example

Children are very good at aping and you will have noticed by now that there are some things that your child does exactly like you do. This is normal and you can use it to your advantage. If you want your child to do something just let her know that you would like her to do it and go ahead and begin the activity yourself. Sometimes you won’t have to let her know that you want her to do it because toddlers love exploring so she will just come over and start ‘helping’ you.

A little heads up

Children don’t really like surprises or uncomfortable situations because it makes them nervous. The difference is that they will not hesitate to point out that they don’t like a certain thing or person and they can even go ahead to list their reasons. It is totally justified and normal unless the person in question is right in front of you and it shifts to awkward and embarrassing.

You could try and give your child some kind of warning that so and so will be here today and she would really like this or the other. Make it conversational and not an order and she will probably react better to the whole situation.

Frame your questions right

If you ask a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question about something that your toddler does not enjoy you are likely to get a no with no apologies. Frame your question in such a way that they are not choosing whether to go through the said activity but rather they have a choice to make about how they conduct the activity. It could be taking a bath with rubber ducky or another toy, or brushing teeth with a red or yellow toothbrush. The focus remains on the other aspects of the activity and not the activity itself so there is no room to refuse the activity.

Try a bribe

It is understandable that these methods will not always work. Sometimes your toddler can decide that you will not use wisdom and brains to break her so what happens then? Bribe the little girl. You can offer candy, ice-cream or anything else that can be considered a treat in her books and get over with it. Sometimes it is never that serious!

Bayo Ajibola

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