Parenting young children can be challenging, especially when they enter the toddler and preschool years. During this time, their tiny bodies are trying to understand big emotions, which often leads to temper tantrums and active defiance. These events can be stressful for parents, but there are ways to handle them more effectively.
Utilize Helpful Resources
Searching for help through books, articles and a parent-child communication guide is an excellent place to start. Learning from the observations and ideas of others is a great way to figure out what works best with your child. Remember that every situation is unique, so you may have to try several options before you find a right fit. What works now may also change in just a few short months, so stay flexible and keep researching along the way.
Keep Your Cool
While outbursts and tantrums can push your patience to the limit, it's important to stay calm when your young child is acting out. Rising to meet their level often only leads to a worse outcome, hurt feelings and guilt. Children model the behaviors they see, so keep your cool at all costs. Eventually, they will learn to pick up on your calmer approach to the situation. In addition, your actions often play a huge part in settling your child.
Show Unconditional Love
Dealing with stubborn behavior day after day can make any parent weary and exasperated. However, it's important to communicate your love to your child every day. Verbalize it, but show it with your actions as well. Don't cut back on meaningful opportunities with your child because of your frustration. Many times, children act out when they long to feel supported, safe and valued.
For most children, temper tantrums fade with age. However, if you are ever concerned with your child's behavior, talk to your pediatrician. They can help offer perspective and guidance as you continue to parent your child.