What's Your Tantrum IQ?
Let’s face it—toddler meltdowns can make even the calmest parent break out in a sweat. Do you know some of the common triggers? Time to put your tantrum know-how to the test.
Question 1 of 9
Which one of these play time scenarios is most likely cause chaos?
|Giving your little guy a five minute warning before an activity is about to end|
|Telling him he has to stop for now, but you'll join him for play time later|
Abruptly pulling him away from an activity in which he's deeply engaged
Instead, respect your child's time and be sensitive to transitions. You'll be able to stave off tantrums by giving your child a warning about changes that are about to happen ("In five minutes, we'll be leaving the playground" or "In five minutes we'll begin bath time").
Question 2 of 9
Your toddler is trying to master a new task, like climbing a stool, and you’re worried she might hurt herself. Which of the following will most likely land you both in tantrumville?
Stopping her from completing the task on her own (even though she may be capable of doing it)
If your child is trying to climb a kitchen stool and you quickly pull her off for fear of her falling, don't be surprised if you get waterworks! During toddlerhood, your child is focused on building her skills, independence, and automony. Give her space (within reason) to try things on her own, yet if you have any concerns about her safety, talk to her about what you're doing while offering her assistance ("Mommy is holding on to you while you climb this tall stool because I want to make sure that you're being safe with your body").
|Talking to her about the consequences of a potentially precarious activity|
|Giving your child a chance to explain why they want to do something|
Question 3 of 9
Toddlers sure love their toys—sometimes too much! Which scenario is the most likely tantrum trigger?
|Rotating various toys so that the old ones don't get stale (but leaving his favorites|
|Giving him a hand-me-down toy|
Suddenly cutting off playtime and putting his toys away
If you're running late and take the toy your child has been contentedly playing with from his hands to wrestle him into his coat, you've got a ticket straight to tantrumville! Instead, give your child a warning that playtime is about to end and that he'll have to say "bye bye" to his toys, or decide in advance that your child can take that special toy with him when you leave.
Question 4 of 9
Sometimes play time can take a turn for the worse, especially if you:
In the middle of a fun game, tell her that play time is over and that it's time to go
The drama's about to start! Again, giving your child a ten or five minute warning (or both!) will go a long way in easing the transition.
|Set a timer and tell her that play time will be done once the bell rings|
|Let her put away some of her extra-special toys before a friend comes over to play|
Question 5 of 9
You just want to protect her and keep her safe, but that’s not always how your little one sees it. She will most likely get upset if you:
|Gently move her away from a object, such as a hot stove, explaining why it's dangerous|
|Put fragile items away before she even gets interested in playing with them|
Quickly stop her as she's reaching out to explore something
Children are born to explore! Know it, accept it, and try to prevent tantrums before they happen by keeping valuables and breakables out of sight. If the object can't be removed (a hot stove, for example), gently pick your child up, or safely surround her with your arms, while saying, "Hot! We could burn ourselves. Ouch! Let's be safe and move away."
Question 6 of 9
When it comes to day-to-day activities, your little one is most likely to lose her cool if you:
|Firmly stick to a daily routine and set schedule|
Disrupt the daily routine without giving her advance notice
Children thrive on routine and predictability. If reading a book is a consistent part of your child's bedtime routine and you're exhausted, don't just try to skip the book. Try reading a short story instead of a long one. Remember, whatever noticeable shortcuts you take will likely encourage your toddler to protest more. Any surprise change can cause them to feel unbalanced. They feel safer and secure when they know what to expect in their day-to-day.
|Consistently put her down for nap at the same time each day|
Question 7 of 9
When it comes to communicating with your little one, which of the following will mostly likely result in tears?
Setting up certain expectations and then not following through
If you're planning on taking your child to the playground but are worried about the weather, it's best not to mention the excursion until you're sure the weather will allow it.
|Talking to your child about different ways an upcoming situation or experience might change|
|Explaining to your child what you're about to do before changing his diaper, wiping his face, or any other caretaking activity|
Question 8 of 9
For a lot of toddlers, mealtime and tantrums go hand in hand. Which of the following is most likely to cause a fit?
|Gently encouraging your child to eat with a fork instead of their fingers|
|Offering your child food choices throughout the day|
Skipping snack time
If you let your child reach the Tired-and-Hungry Zone of No Return, it's danger time. Let's be real, Mom: You're not at your sweetest or most amenable when your blood sugar is low and you're considering an under-desk catnap. With children, it's best think ahead and be prepared. Snacks and drinks should always be kept close by!
Question 9 of 9
When you're hanging out at home, which of the following will most likely cause an outburst?
|Making dinner while he’s playing with his toys|
|Talking on the telephone while he's engaged with a book|
Leaving him without telling him where you're going
Most little ones experience separation anxiety at some point in those younger years, and it can be scary for them when they discover that they are separate beings from you. Even when you're home together, if you're out of eyesight, a meltdown could ensure. Instead, talk to him about where you're going or what you're doing. It's a respectful way to communicate with your child and helps him feel safe and secure that you're nearby if, and when, he needs you.
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