Home ยป Kids ยป Taming a toddler tantrum in 3 easy steps.

Taming a toddler tantrum in 3 easy steps.

This year end has not been easy on us all. I am not really sure why but we are all feeling it. Jack, specifically has been a challenge. There have been tantrums, huge, elaborate, throw himself on the floor, kind of toddler tantrums. It’s mainly about clothes – socks, shorts, jeans, shirts – getting dressed is a fight. If the socks can’t get on right or the jeans have a spot on or the shirt isn’t long sleeve or if Barack Obama wears a black tie then its a huge deal. HUGE. Tears, screaming, whining, shouting, crying.

He is an angel at school, obviously. I think the only reason the teacher actually believes me is because we have, at times, both arrived at school in tears. We are trying to deal with it. We are walking that tight rope between setting boundaries and giving in. We all know that line. It usually happens about 30 minutes into a screaming tantrum, you consider giving in, giving up. You know you shouldn’t, you know why you need to stand firm but its 17h30, dinners about one second away from burning, a child needs to be fetched from swimming in 10 minutes, another child needs to bath. You just don’t have the emotional energy or physical time to get down to his level and try to explain you understand his feelings but he really can’t eat the raw chicken drumstick. So you shout or you smack or you send to the naughty corner or you bribe with some sugar – you do pretty much anything you can to just stop the screaming.

Some days, though, you do get it right. You do stay calm, you explain, he understands and calm is restored. At the moment those days are rare in our house but they do happen. On those days I give us all a gold star.


There are a few things I have figured out though to make it a little easier for us all. So when your toddler (or even 10 year old for that matter) is mid tantrum try these 3 easy steps.

1. Grab a glass of wine/whisky/coke/SuperM/tea or a slab of chocolate. Whatever is your comfort food – grab it!

2. Lock yourself in the bathroom with your wine/whisky/coke/SuperM/tea or slab of chocolate and enjoy it. Savor each sip/bite. Breathe. Drink/eat!

3. Look in the mirror, high five yourself, put your warrior helmet on and head back out onto the battleground.

Tantrums are not easy. They can be disruptive and exhausting. They are also very different from child to child. Some kids respond to a time out, some to a star chart, others to a warning. There is no one fit solution, the only thing you can do is “just keep swimming” and remind yourself that tomorrow will be better (and that there is wine in the fridge).

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  1. 28 November, 2014 / 10:51 am

    I hear you Laura! I had quite a few giggles in this post.

  2. Heather
    28 November, 2014 / 1:13 pm

    Shame we have them too, normally so linked to lack of sleep… But it can be anything that he wants or wasn’t right and it makes it harder when he can’t really speak much yet.

    • 28 November, 2014 / 3:01 pm

      that’s problem on our side too, the communication thing frustrates him

  3. 28 November, 2014 / 3:10 pm

    hehehe! Threes are so much worse than twos! Luckily you’re half-way to four already!

  4. 30 November, 2014 / 11:13 am

    I couldn’t help but laugh at his get up in the picture. And yes as a parent you have to do what works for you and choose your battles.

  5. 30 November, 2014 / 1:22 pm

    Oh my word!! I was about to write a post about the ginger but I think I may just copy and paste yours!!! Good to know I’m not alone ๐Ÿ™‚ this too shall pass tho and then we have to look forward to teenagers stage!! Yay us!!

  6. 1 December, 2014 / 1:47 pm

    Threenagers! meh. I count each day with him and me being alive a win.


  7. 1 December, 2014 / 7:40 pm

    Am just reminded now that I still need to reply to your email! My friend. This too shall pass. And if not, at least there’s LOTS of wine in this country. For cheap!

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