Toddlers scream and cry a lot. If you have a toddler at home, it’s a fact of life that you cannot escape. Toddlers can get set off by the simplest of things. They can then launch into a big tantrum, complete with throwing of things, screaming and flailing of arms around. This is mostly meant for show—they want to catch your attention, and they want things done their way. They might not be able to talk yet, so this is the only way they can verbalize their feelings. They might not be aware of the benefits of finding solutions rather than getting angry, so you should focus on a few things when trying to deal with unruly toddlers.
- Look for the root cause of his anger. He might be angry at someone. He might be tired or sleepy. Kids usually get into tantrums whenever he is discontent or tired. Most of the time, they don’t know what they are angry about, but the feeling of being dissatisfied triggers aggressive behavior in them.
- Setup a daily routine and stick to it. Some disturbances in a child’s daily routine might cause him to act differently. For example, if he has a new nanny or caregiver, he might want to establish authority. Or, if the child’s parents have just recently started to work again, he might have a difficult time adjusting. Even small changes in the daily routine might affect his behavior. This includes entertaining unexpected guests, and the like.
- Keep calm. If you show that you are panicking yourself, then he might throw tantrums even more. It’s a sign that you’re giving in.
- Don’t give in to his whims. Giving in to his wants might seem the easiest way to calm your baby down. However, in the long term, giving in to each and every one of his whims will just tell him that he can get anything he wants from whining and throwing tantrums. Instead, wait for him to calm down before talking to him.
- Distract him. If your child is throwing tantrums, distract him with something else. He might have favorite toy or activity. Once you get his attention, he might be quick to forget why he is throwing tantrums in the first place.
- Use time out. Take him outside of the situation that is causing him to throw tantrums in the first place. You can use a “time out” if your child is old enough to understand this concept. Keep him contained in a space that is considered no fun. At the end of his time out, take the time to explain to your child why you had to use time out.
- Be consistent. This is another important aspect of discipline. Show your child that he cannot get away with unruly behavior. You must deal with these seriously every time. If you are not consistent with dealing with your child’s being unruly, this sends mixed signals.
Calming down your unruly toddler involves being consistent in enforcing your authority. Toddlers become unruly when they are not satisfied with the situation. However, they still cannot express themselves fully, so you will need to be more understanding of your toddler.