If you’re also the parent of a toddler, you know that the thing we dread the most is not poop, or pee, or puke, but a tantrum — an intense and full-blown tantrum.
Of course, if you’ve been a parent long enough you probably have a few tricks up your sleeve to managing tantrum episodes, like these powerful phrases, or asking this one question. However, isn’t it better to prevent the tantrum before it even starts, than trying to manage it desperately as everyone around you looks on?
That’s right. A tantrum or a power struggle can be prevented if you know how to read your baby’s cues. According to this article, tired, hungry, or thirsty toddlers are more likely to act out because they feel out of sorts. If they’re sleepy and haven’t had enough sleep (or it’s nap time), expect a little resistance from your little one, too.
So, what do you do? When you notice these signs and an impending tantrum, teach your child to pause.
“Being tired and hungry are the two biggest tantrum triggers,” Ray Levy, a clinical psychologist and author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation, toldParents.
“Parents often come to me wondering why their child is having daily meltdowns. And it turns out they’re happening around the same time each day -- before lunch or naptime and in the early evening. It’s no coincidence!”
If we, as adults, can be cranky if we had to be up all night, what more a little human who has limited vocabulary to express himself?
In simple terms, let your child understand that the reason he feels like he wants to burst is because his body is telling him to sleep / eat / drink. By explaining things this way, you will do more than avoid a tantrum -- he will also be mindful of his body’s needs, hopefully.