Tantrums in toddlers

Every toddler sometimes suffers from tantrums. Where do they come from? And are they still good for something? Can you prevent it? And how do you deal with it?

Imagine, you have bought a new DVD player and are going home with pleasure to install it. You have big plans for that evening: finally you can watch that exciting movie! With the manual go yes, but it seems like a different language. You do not understand, and it does not work, no matter how you do your best. You give your partner who wants to help you a snarl, because you can do it! Angrily you throw the manual in a corner, and you kick out badly.


Or you are on holiday in France and discover that you do not have enough pegs to set up your tent. You go to the administrator and explain the problem in your best school frans. But the best man looks at you as if he sees water burning. You're going to talk harder and harder to make it clear what you want, but nothing helps. Eventually you give up frustrated and you give your tent a few big kicks. Welcome to the world of a toddler! A world full of opportunities and opportunities that you want to use, but that often fail or become illegal. The described feelings of frustration and impotence a toddler has a hundred times in a day!

It does not work!

It is certainly not easy to be a toddler. You see your parents doing all sorts of interesting things and you want that too. But then they forbid it, or you will not succeed! And if you want to put on your red socks yourself, and your mother wants to pull you the blue, you can not make it clear to her. Then words sometimes literally fall short! The only thing you still have to express your displeasure is a tantrum.

Tips for dealing with your transverse toddler

Toddlers are well able to put your patience to the test. The 'danger' of shooting angrily out of your shoal is lurking, while getting angry does not make any sense at all. In fact, an angry reaction also has another negative effect on the cross-toddler toddler behavior. Afterwards you are surprised how that little male or female has succeeded (again) in luring you out of the tent.
Did you know, by the way, that your toddler does not like it at all and that he himself is also saddened by his transgressive behavior? But sometimes he can not do anything else ...

How do you deal with tantrums?

Punishment is not wrong, but rewarding is better. Positive attention often works best. Your reaction is very important to him.
Use humor and be inventive. Sometimes a bit of distraction does wonders.
A toddler can not be rushed, keep this in mind. It is better to build in a spare time before you leave. This prevents you from becoming irritated and (unnecessarily) angry with him.

Set boundaries

Set the limits constantly (toddlers do not learn by what you say to them, but by the experience they get). Now that your toddler is discovering his own will, it is important to set clear boundaries. Your toddler needs this because he prefers everything, but he can not yet judge what is right for him. You do not limit him by setting limits, you give him a safe feeling. Try to find a balance, because too strict rules are not intended. His health and safety is a good starting point for drafting the rules. You can be a little easier in safe and less important situations.

Be consistent

Be consistent (also execute threats). Your toddler benefits if you are consistent. It makes it clear and clear for him (predictable). He knows what is expected of him and what happens if he does not like it. If you are less consistent (sometimes find something good and punish the other time) your toddler will also become erratic.
As a punishment measure you can place your toddler in another room. This offers you the opportunity to recover. Do not try to get angry.

Be economical with 'no'

Reserve your 'no' only for really important situations. Let your toddler do as much as possible yourself. He wants this. It is important that he gets the space to experiment a bit. So he has the feeling that he also has a little influence on the situation. If you give your toddler confidence, his self-confidence grows. If your toddler gets something done, he will be super proud of himself. You can not make him happier if you give him a compliment.
Do not save your toddler, hitting is only a sign of impotence.

What are really tantrums?

According to Van Dale, a tantrum is a 'short-lived outburst of passion'. In a toddler, such an outburst can be accompanied by shouting, hitting, kicking, stamping feet, holding a breath until he sees blue, and "mopping" over the floor. Toddlers can give away an excellent imitation of Linda Blair in the film The Exorcist, in which she is possessed by the devil.
And if that is not annoying enough, they also do it quietly in public, so that many parents with a red head and the sweat on the back tries to appease the case. Tantrums are like the Dutch weather: unpredictable. One moment it is sunny and cloudless, the next moment you are in the middle of a thundercloud. They occur in the period between the first anniversary and the third birthday, with a peak around the second birthday. Tantrums often decrease automatically as your toddler learns to speak better.

Causes of a tantrum

Tantrums can have various causes. The underlying cause is almost always frustration. Your child wants something, but it does not work or he can not. Your child is then overwhelmed by a tsunami of emotions, but does not yet have the vocabulary to name them. And so he gets a tantrum to express his emotions anyway. But there are also other causes. For example, get too little attention. A child who receives too little attention can use a tantrum to focus on him. Or too many stimuli: you could compare your child to a fuse box. If you turn on too many devices at the same time, the stops will continue.

Get his way

A tantrum can also become a way for your child to get his way; these are called manipulative tantrums. For example, you are in the supermarket and your child sees a tasty lollipop there, and decides that he wants it. You refuse that from caring for his teeth and your child gets a tantrum in an attempt to get the lollipop anyway.

First aid for tantrums

The golden rules in tantrums are 'keep it cool!' and 'do not give in'. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and try to figure out why your child has a tantrum and what you will do. Your child is counting on you to set a good example. How you deal with a tantrum depends on the cause. The central point is that you stay close to your child, because a tantrum can be frightening for your child: he is out of his mind for a moment. If your child is a danger to himself and his environment, pick him up calmly and forcefully and take him to a quiet place to calm down.

Offer comfort and help

Does your child have a tantrum out of frustration because he wants to put on his socks for example, but it does not work, then offer comfort and help. Talk quietly and mention his frustration: "You want to put on your socks, but you can not do it? Mama will help you. " And then make a start by wriggling the sock over his toes so that he can continue it himself. Because it is very important for your toddler to do things yourself, and for you as a parent it is very important to give him that opportunity.

Keep an eye on things

Does your child have a tantrum because he wanted to climb on the roof but that was not allowed by you, just go through what you were doing while you keep an eye on things. This way your child learns that you are there for him, but that a tantrum does not yield anything. Would you say: 'Oh, Jan, do you want so badly on the roof? Then go on! " to get rid of the tantrum then you can be sure that the next tantrum will soon follow. It works after all!

Strong embrace

In some cases you can take your passionate toddler in a firm embrace while he is running out. So you say, as it were: "You are out of your mind, but I am sensuous, and I take care of you. You are safe. " But there are also children who become even more angry. So it is a matter of scanning what suits your child best.

After the storm

Give your child a hug after a tantrum and do not blame yourself. You can possibly have it with your toddler, but continue to the order of the day.

Prevention is better than cure

Once your child has a tantrum, there is not much else to do than wait until the storm is over. That is why you better try to prevent tantrums. Make sure, for example, that your child has toys that fit his age and thus prevent frustration. For example, a toddler can play with duplo but will have trouble with small k-nex.
Make use of the short attention span of your toddler and distract him, if you see a tantrum coming. Have your child put his sentences on a lollipop, then lead him off with, for example, a task in the supermarket: 'Do you get a pack of yogurt for mom?'.

Keep in mind its limits

Keep in mind the limits of your child: do not go shopping after a long busy day.
Because your child will discover his or her own at this age, he would naturally like to practice it. Give him room to do so by giving him control over small things. For example by asking: "Do you want to brush with the red toothbrush or with the blue." This way your toddler knows that tooth brushing is apparently beyond dispute, but he can show his I by determining the color. This way you prevent him from being frustrated because he can not determine anything at all.
Think carefully if your child wants something: is it a real request? Choose your battle points carefully.


A good method to gain insight into the tantrums of your child is to keep a drift diary. In this you note when your child gets a tantrum: the time, the situation, and the reason.
A nice extra is that this also helps to remain calm and calm because you take a step back from the situation, as it were. Imagine that you are a researcher on the planet Mars who studies the behavior of toddlers!

It's not you. It is my fault.

Always remember that the tantrums of your child are not meant to be personal! It's not your fault, it's your toddler's. Tantrums are, in the first instance, a normal result of the development of your child, not of your upbringing. But that does not alter the fact that your reaction does have an influence. For example, if you give in to tantrums to get rid of the nagging, your child will undoubtedly get them more often. Your daily behavior also affects your child: if you go through life in a cursory and rumbling way, your toddler will see it as normal. Unfortunately, bad example does badly follow.

Tantrums as a development opportunity for you!

Maybe you think: 'It's easy to say that I have to stay calm and calm when Henkie goes too late! But I just feel the steam coming out of my ears! " Or in the case of the well-known Mother With Screaming Child in the Supermarket scene: 'I am ashamed of all those people, I prefer to admit, at least it stops.'

Tantrums do not help them further

These feelings are very understandable, but in case a tantrum they do not help you. By bursting yourself out of frustration, it will only get worse. Acknowledge yourself: "I can scream!" but then also say to yourself: 'Only calm can save me.' And when it comes to the looks of other people: if you look closely you will probably see sympathy! And the looks of disapproval are obvious from people who do not have children themselves, or have forgotten how it was to raise a toddler! Brigitte Kaandorp already said: 'If you see a mother, by definition put your thumb in an encouraging gesture!'

Take the time to think

Take it later, when the peace restores, is the time to quietly think about what exactly happened: why did you become so angry? Was that because you were ashamed? Did your annoyance stem from uncertainty: "Do I do well as a mother?" or were you angry because your child did not listen to you? Find an outlet for your feelings of annoyance and frustration: if necessary, take a pillow and scream a lot. Other exhaust valves can be, a walk, running, a cup of coffee with a friend, shopping, et cetera.
Every person has sensitive places. A tantrum of your child can touch such a sensitive place. By knowing your own issues, it becomes easier to remain calm, and you also get to know yourself better.

That way both you and your toddler grow!

Video: Tips for Toddler Tantrums

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