Tried and tested tactics to stop tantrums

Four mums share their techniques to deal with toddler meltdowns.

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Taming your tot can be a handful, but some mums calm the storm and handle tantrums with ease. To help you defuse your little whirlwind’s temper, we turned to the real experts - other mums like you - for their temper-taming techniques.

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 “I ignore tantrums”

Karen Tan, 37, mum to Grace, 9 weeks, Anna, 2, Emily, 4, and Luke, 7.

 “I learnt by trial and error that if a tantrum can’t be diverted by distraction, then it’s best ignored. Reasoning with a tantruming child is pointless, because she gets your attention for behaving badly.

 When one of my children has a tantrum, I turn my attention away from him or her and on to the others. Sometimes I’ll even leave the room. Then, once he or she has calmed down, I ask for an apology, we have a cuddle and talk about it.”

Why it works

Often, children have tantrums because they’ve learnt that it’s a good way to get attention. Ignoring your child is the best strategy because, rather than rewarding the behaviour with your attention, you’re teaching your child that she’s not going to get what she wants by shouting and screaming. Try to keep calm by getting on with a job, counting to 10 or singing to yourself. Think of it as an opportunity to teach your child appropriate ways of expressing herself, and remind yourself that you’re doing her a favour in the long run by teaching her how to behave nicely.