Having a toddler is one of the most awesome phases of life. It’s a wonder to watch as they learn, discover and develop week by week during a phase that is one of the fastest developing of childhood. Part of being a toddler is learning to communicate. And while a child learns this, it can be very frustrating not knowing how to express certain needs and desires in ways that are understood. Toddlers are also learning to manage those big emotions that seem all-consuming. Here are some excellent ways one can tame a toddler’s anger and help them manage and help express emotions.
5 Parenting Tips to Help Toddlers Manage Anger
1.Know Your Toddler’s Limits
Your toddler will have limits for certain activities. It may be nap time every day at 3pm, or his limit for sitting in a shopping cart while you shop may be 20 minutes. Whatever situation you find your toddler acting out in, pause for a moment and ask yourself if you’re pushing a limit you know he has, and wrap up quickly. Try to anticipate in advance and plan your activities accordingly to avoid tired meltdowns and angry outbursts.
2. Learning To Take Turns
It’s common for toddlers to have huge fights over a sought after toy. Angry meltdowns triggered by sharing are common. Teach your toddler gently that it’s good to take turns, role play to practice when you are at home, and be wise as to what toys or activities to just put away when other kids are around. Remember, they may be more able to share once they are slightly older, if need be.
Sometimes it’s good for a toddler to feel a sense of ownership, especially with his own toys, and sometimes it’s okay NOT to share, such as a birthday present a child has just received. Learning to share and take turns is good, but keep that sense of ownership in mind too and respect it. The sharing can come once the child is secure in the fact that the new toy is actually his TO share.
3. Detach Yourself And Set A Good Example
Remember that you are the parent, and your toddler’s emotional outbursts are his personal issue, not yours. Their anger is also not your fault, it’s an expression of frustration at not getting his way, or not being able to express clearly what he wants. When your toddler has an outburst of anger, speak to him patiently and calmly, and show him what calm and controlled looks like, rather than get angry at his outburst. Sit with him until he calms down, and show him that you’re not intimidated or scared of his rage. Demonstrate that you’re supportive and patient in teaching him how to deal with it.
4. Be Prepared For Any Situation
Understand what your toddler’s needs are when you go out, travel or know you will be in a place where your toddler will get easily bored. Pack accordingly to keep him busy, secure and entertained. Pack a busy bag for the road, snacks for a mid-morning coffee date with a friend or a fave teddy if you know he will nap while you’re in a new or different place. Plan in advance and think of what your toddler will feel or need. It will avoid you having to manage a very tired irritable angry toddler later on.
5. Teach Right From Wrong
Toddler years are important years. A toddler is learning about their world and their emotions, and will react out of raw emotion when they are frustrated, angry or tired. When your toddler reacts, teach him what is right and what is wrong. If he tantrums, teach him to breathe. If he smacks your leg for saying ‘no’ to something he wants, take his hands gently and tell him that smacking is wrong, and teach him what to do instead. Take each situation and see it as precious training grounds for the future.
Having a toddler is an incredible responsibility. Let’s make the best of these development-rich years and train our little ones on how to deal with anger, as well as how to prevent situations which could trigger angry outbursts! How do you help your toddler manage his emotions? We’d love to hear your suggestions!
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.