Toddlers are way smarter than people give them credit for. I didn’t know this until I had one, but apparently, they’re just little people–not idiot monkeys. Weird. So, teaching them things is not as difficult as it might seem. Although, sometimes, since they are just little people, they do have personalities of their own and they choose to showcase that by NOT doing what you’ve been trying to teach them. Again, weird. But, in my extensive studies, I have stumbled on a trick for How to Stop a Toddler Tantrum in its Tracks. Now, this is groundbreaking–so be sure to share it with your friends. We all want those tantrums to stop, don’t we?
How to Stop a Toddler Tantrum in its Tracks
- Day 1: Clear-out a spot you can use for “time-out”. For us it was the crib in the baby room that never gets used. It’s ok if there are a couple of toys, but nothing too entertaining like a TV or anything. When that toddler starts a-yellin’ and fussing, tell her “if you keep yelling at me, I’m going to put you in time-out”. Show them the “time-out” area and repeat yourself. If the tantrum stops, great, but if not, you’ll need to actually put the little crazy into time-out. This will increase the tantrum by 10-fold, but just push through. Tell her, gently, that if she calms down, she can get out of time-out. Stand there with her, but do not let her out until she is close to being calm. As soon as she’s in your arms, give those kisses and cuddles and wipe away the tears.
- Day 2: Repeat the “if you keep yelling at me, I’m going to put you in time-out”. Again, show them the “time-out” area and repeat yourself. Now, I know this is hard, but put the baby in time-out, if the tantrum hasn’t already stopped. This time, though, read a book (to yourself, not the kid) or otherwise “ignore” the kiddo. Don’t walk away, because that’s just mean, but ignore just the same. When the tantrum is almost over, start telling the toddler that they are doing a good job and you like it when they aren’t yelling. Remind them that if they’re calm, they can get out of time-out. When he’s close to being calm, take him out and shower with kisses and cuddles.
- Day 3: This is the worst day–they’re going to try to break you. But you repeat yourself again and this time, you get a little meaner back. When they yell at you, just say “calm down, then you can get out of time-out”. Don’t do anything else and ignore like the day before. Wait until he is actually calm, all the yelling and crying has stopped, then immediately let him out of time-out and kiss, kiss, kiss. You want to give positive rewards for being sweet.
- Day 4: Now, all you should have to say is “Do you want to go to time-out?” This should produce the result of the child trying to calm themselves. If not, repeat Day 3 again, but I was able to do this in just 4 days, with only one little reminder time-out on day 5. After that, we have been tantrum-free as long as I ask her if she wants to go to time-out. She’ll calm herself without any yelling and then we work on using words to get her what she wanted.
I hope this works as well for you as it did for me…