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Tips to Instantly Calm a Tantrum

child screaming at the camera

5 tips to calm a tantrum… 

Have you ever been with an overwhelmed toddler feeling just as stressed? Here are 5 tips to calm a tantrum.

With 26 years as a nursery teacher, I’ve faced daily tantrums (from the children, not myself) These tips have been effective for me.

#1 Remain calm

Often, Tantrums may feel personal causing some frustration, However, they come from feeling overwhelmed.  Surprisingly, stopping a tantrum immediately is not the first goal.  Often a tantrum can be ended by giving the child the thing that caused the tantrum. Whilst this can restore calm,  it is not teaching the child the skills they need to regulate their own emotions. As hard as it can feel stay calm. We want to model calm behaviour, and not lose control of ourselves.

#2 Validate the feeling – Anger is OK

Young children need to learn to label their feelings but they may be too young to do this themselves yet. This is where we can step in and help them. For example “I can see you are feeling angry about that.” Next, reassure them that it is ok to be angry. Next, if their anger has led to a behaviour like hitting, you can say, “I can see you are angry about that. It’s ok to be angry but I can’t let you hit.” it is still important to set a boundary.

#3 Co-regulate

At this stage, your child may still be upset but we need to help them regulate their feelings. This could be as simple as a hug. You may need to show them a different way of being angry, for example, stamping feet, squeezing a cushion, etc.

#4 Re-direct

If your child is not yet calm, this is a good time to re-direct and draw their attention to something else. Perhaps their favourite story or toy. This can sometimes be enough to help them find their calm again.

#5 Empower your toddler with praise

Finally, it is important to acknowledge when the desired behaviour has been achieved. Equally important, Be more specific. For example “I like how patiently you waited for the blue bowl.”

Hopefully, posting about 5 tips to calm a tantrum has been helpful. Perhaps it will help you to help your little one to develop self-regulation skills.

There are lots of other helpful blogs to read HERE

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If you would like further information about tantrums, you can view the NHS advice HERE

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