You probably try to work positive parenting solutions into your family’s daily routine, but let’s face it. Sometimes a toddler’s meltdown can send your good intentions straight out the window. Fortunately, many positive parenting solutions exist to stop a tantrum before it even starts.
Positive Parenting Solutions | 9 Tips to Slay the Tantrums
In This Article:
1. Try the Toddler Tantrum Triage
One of the effective positive parenting solutions is to deal with the main causes of tantrums. What does this mean?
Often, a child’s meltdown is less about what they’re fixated on and more about being tired or hungry. If tantrums are on the increase this week, consider starting her nap a little earlier or head off the growing fussiness with a juice box and some soft cheese.
Sometimes kids are physically uncomfortable without being aware of what’s actually making them cranky. On hot days, change them into a cooler outfit and provide more water and juice. Are they sick? Try some natural remedies.
2. Express Empathy
One thing little people find maddening is being told what they care about doesn’t matter. It’s helpful to stop yourself from saying, “There’s no reason to be mad that Daddy drove to the corner store.” To a toddler, time is much harder to understand. All that matters to them at that moment is an unexpected “abandonment.”
Instead, say something like “I know you wanted Daddy to stay. He will be back before your breakfast is over, but I understand you’re sad.” Often, a shoulder to cry on is all they need to help them move on to other things.
3. Walk Away from the Drama
Of course, you can’t abandon your shrieking child in the middle of the mall. When you’re in a safe space, depriving them of attention is often one of the fastest positive parenting solutions to shut down a temper tantrum. Help them understand they have a right to be upset, but you don’t have to listen to it.
4. Give In Sometimes
Letting your toddler have what they want from time to time won’t spoil them. And after all, you deserve not to have to fight every little battle that comes along.
When you do accede to your child’s wishes, try to do it when they’re still in the early stage of a tantrum. Giving in when they’re yelling at the top of their lungs can set a bad precedent.
5. Catch Her Doing Something Right
We’re often quick to scold our kids at the moment of their transgression. We fail to praise them while they’re doing a positive behavior. It’s not always enough to say “You were so good today!” Instead, when your child shares a toy or gets dressed when asked, stop what you’re doing and “catch them in the act” with praise.
As you know too well, tantrums are often just ploys for attention. Once your child gets used to positive parenting solutions, they may learn good attention is much nicer!
6. Prepare Your Child for Pitfalls
You can’t always know what will set a child off. Some explosions are predictable, especially when disappointment or a schedule change is on the way. Are doting grandparents going to be leaving for the airport later in the day? Is preschool changing to afternoons instead of the mornings this week? Prepare your child. It’s tempting to avoid this talk. You’re risking two tantrums instead of one. Preparing them for an unwanted change can be a smart way to avoid a meltdown.
7. Bring a “Pack of Fun” on Errands
Another of the many positive parenting solutions is to create diversions. They help your child cope with the boredom of errands. These can include a snack, a small stuffed animal, a picture book, and a handheld toy. They’re handy, and you can slip them into your tote or diaper bag. Together, these mini-treats provide comfort, fun, and a “hangry” cure when tantrum threatens to start.
8. Hide the Bones of Contention
One of your secret weapons as a parent is your ability to foresee potential meltdowns and avert them. What your child can’t see they won’t be angry about missing. Take, for example, the Disney movie she can’t watch until the weekend. Perhaps it’s a box of gourmet cookies you’re saving for yourself.
Use her nap or preschool time to strategize about these temptations. Hiding them should always be your go-to choice. There are some things, though, you may not be able to hide. It could be a toy an older sister got, and she doesn’t want to share it. In those cases, you can at least spend time figuring out how to referee the struggle.
9. Provide Choices
Children don’t have much control of their lives, which would make them grumpy. Encouraging them to choose, especially when the stakes aren’t high, is one of the positive parenting solutions that can make a big difference.
Ask them to pick between toast and English muffins for breakfast. Let them select the pajamas to wear at bedtime. It’s always less overwhelming if you keep the options to two similar things.
Children also prize having a chance to make “big” decisions for the whole family. Let them decide between two familiar places to go out to eat, for example. (Needless to say, if you have more than one child, taking turns to choose a family outing can be an enjoyable experience. They can even look forward to it.)
To be effective in these positive parenting solutions, you need to learn how to get your kids to listen. Dana Obleman shares some tips in this video:
When a toddler lashes out, sometimes literally, parents can understandably short-circuit. Not only might your own temper be flaring, but it’s also difficult to think clearly over the roars of your child. If the tantrum is happening in public, all those best positive parenting solutions fly right out of your head. The key is to think about strategies ahead of time, in calm moments. Talk to other parents you admire or research positive parenting solutions online. That way, the next tantrums may not be so fierce or so frequent.
What are your go-to positive parenting solutions when your child has tantrums in public? Share your tips in the comments section below.