Week 2 Project
Notice what triggers your child's tantrums. (Consider writing them down; you'll revisit this list again.) Do you, as we all do, inadvertently set up many of the above scenarios in your toddler's day-to-day? This week, just think honestly about which happen the most often. This consciousness will be immensely helpful in the coming weeks, when we tackle how to better maneuver each tantrum-inducing situation.
Resist stopping, forbidding, thwarting, moving, restraining, leaving, or disrupting your child suddenly. While you must keep your child from danger, most toddlers respond positively to patient guidance rather than abruptness on the part of their parents. Unless your child is in immediate danger, revisit the three steps to keeping your cool from last week, then respond.
Practice giving your child fair warning. At this age, your toddler's receptive language is high, and he understands most of what you say. Therefore, by explaining, "In five minutes we'll be leaving," or "Please don't touch that, or I'm going to remove it from your hands," you're eliminating some of the "What gives?!?" factor from what could be a potential meltdown situation. Of course, this doesn't mean that your child will always listen to your patient requests—she is still a toddler, after all—but giving fair warning may help you sidestep some stormy behaviors.
Read all seven steps in this series: