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Navigating tantrums and meltdowns: Gentle approaches to discipline for toddlers

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By Jessy Sloan - - 5 Mins Read
Adorable toddler rocking trendy fashion, pulls bonnet over face
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A difficult phase of parenthood is when your child is a toddler. Having a toddler means dealing with many tantrums and meltdowns by your adorable child. Parents are put in a difficult position. They often are left feeling confused and annoyed as to what they should do.


Toddler tantrums are a very common thing. Know that you are not alone in this, and there are some things that can be done about it. 


What should you do immediately during your child’s tantrum and meltdown?


Realizing that there are solutions and certain steps that a parent can take while facing such situations is the first step. Before you start talking to your child, there are some steps that you need to follow.

Take a step back and calm down


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If you end up being emotional yourself, chances are you will end up making the situation worse. So, ensuring that you yourself are calm before you get down to solving the real problem is of utmost importance.Take a couple of deep breaths and then proceed.

Analyze the problem


Try to assess the problem in a thorough manner. Ask questions that might help you analyze your child’s tantrums. 


  • What could have possibly triggered your child to throw a tantrum? 
  • Was the child told to do something that they do not like? 
  • Are they being denied access to something that they want - a toy or any other household item? 


Getting the answers to these simple questions will help you determine your strategy and help you solve the problem at hand in a better manner.

Approach them with a calm composure


Once you have analyzed the situation, approaching it in a calm manner is the next step. 

Aggressive behavior on your part will only further agitate the child. So being calm while talking to your toddler is very important. 


Besides being calm while you are talking to them, they may also imitate your calm composure naturally and might stop throwing a tantrum.




Source: Unsplash

What should you do in the long run to solve your child’s tantrums and meltdown problems?


In the analysis step, once you have realized the root causes of their tantrums, you can do the following to help with the tantrum issues.

Distraction technique


When your child is in the middle of throwing a tantrum for causes like wearing a sweater or putting on shoes you can try to distract them while doing these activities. The activity or act that triggers them is beneficial for them and they will understand that later. 

However, for now using a distraction like, making them play with their favorite toy as you put on a sweater on them may keep the child distracted long enough to avoid the tantrum.

Relocation technique


If the triggers are some household items that they want but are dangerous for them, like a pair of scissors or a kitchen knife, then relocating such items to another place where the toddler will not spot it will help. 


The tantrum could also be for demanding too many sweets and chocolates. In such cases, not keeping the sweets in front of the child to avoid the trigger will help deal with avoiding the tantrum a lot. 

Discipline your child


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Instilling basic discipline into your child will not only avoid the tantrums and meltdowns that occur, but will also create lifelong good habits for the child.  Rewarding behavior that is in accordance with basic household rules, or is good and safe for the child will help your child be disciplined faster. 


Understanding that basic discipline is good for your child will help ease any burden that you might be having to discipline your child.

Wrapping Up


Parenthood is hard, we totally get it! But it’s a gratifying process too. While your toddler throws tantrums, you should keep calm and do your best. Happy parenting!