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Let’s say, for example, that your toddler yells at you to ‘leave me alone’ as you try to put their shoes on to go outside, or pulls the cat’s tail when it walks across the puzzle your tot is attempting to put together. Ask ‘is this normal?’ Understanding your toddler’s stage of development may help you to normalize the behaviour, or not.
Also, remember to model your anger in a way that is consistent with what you’d like to see in your toddler.
Sara Dimerman is a psychologist and provides counselling to individuals, couples and families. Today on the show, we were talking about a well known department store asking a young mother to leave as her child was having a rather noisy tantrum.
We fell in love with him as a boisterous blue-eyed toddler, waved him off, a bonny blond little boy, to Wetherby School, watched as he and his brother Harry giggled on theme park water rides, enfolded in their beloved mother’s warm embrace and marvelled at his courage when, grief etched on his strained features but too well-trained to succumb to tears, he marched, in flawless time with his brother, uncle, father and grandfather behind her untimely funeral cortege. Not a single down-on-his-luck fellow pupil has sought to sell nasty stories about him simply because there aren’t any.
At St Andrew’s University, he mixed and mingled, never sought to draw attention to himself and bagged the greatest asset any chap could aspire to – a beautiful woman who was prepared to make the supreme sacrifice of her privacy to share his life’s work with him. William and Catherine are obviously happy with each other’s company and their children are the icing on their already sweet and comforting cake.
William’s disclosures about parenthood, revealed in last night’s When Ant & Dec Met The Prince, confirm all our fondest speculations. Firstly, proud dad William describes Prince George, two, and seven-month-old Charlotte as “good as gold, honestly”.
As the doting grandma of a nearly two year old and a 12 week old, I know that William is not accurate but pleasingly bedazzled with love.
The fact that William sees straight through the toddler tantrums to the goodness and solid gold within his children’s characters is yet more proof that he himself is loving, kind and properly partisan.
Equally reassuring is William’s confession that he has become much more emotional since becoming a father because “you realise how precious life is”. Like his late mother Diana, Wills is determined to give his children a sense of perspective: “You don’t just live in a palace. William adores living next door to his brother and gleefully takes the mickey out of his father’s notorious “black spider letters” but admits to relying on him if he ever “gets in a pickle”.
Let’s hope Princess Diana is looking down from her heavenly cloud utterly suffused with pride and gratitude for the two scrumptious men she bequeathed to the nation. Duchess of Cambridge health forced her to cancel upcoming events but Why Queen is forcing her?
Know all about the morning sickness through which our Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is going through! Do you tell them to put their angry words away or send them into time out because they’ve hurt another living creature?
Very often, if your toddler is tired, hungry or thirsty, their emotional tone and response will seem disproportionate to the reality of the situation. For example: ‘Next time you’re angry at the cat for stepping on your puzzle, please ask me to put the cat out of the room. If a child is showing frustration in the form of anger, acknowledge their feelings of frustration, then offer assistance. For example, it’s okay to show anger and allow anger to be shown by others so long as no one is getting hurt and the anger is being expressed in a respectful manner. They are just getting the hang of asserting their independence, pushing boundaries and expressing angry frustration when they can’t instantly achieve their aims. Or do you remain calm, acknowledge feelings and read between the lines to try to understand the source of the anger? If your child appears out of control, you may want to consider containing their physical and emotional flailing in a loving, comforting way by wrapping your arms around them, putting them on your lap and calming them through soothing words and touch.
The latter is one in a series of books that looks at each year of a child’s life from a developmental perspective.


It’s important to let your toddler know that anger is an acceptable emotion but their behaviour may not be.
Depending on past behavior and parents’ reactions, some children learn to use tantrums as a means to get what they want. However, even when children throw a Little Nero tantrums, things can get out of hand and they turn into emotional tantrums. In this article, ways to deal with emotional tantrums will be discussed first.Why Do 2 Year Olds Have Temper Tantrums?Toddler tantrums are actually natural behaviors.
Sure, I’d like to have 13 hours of sleeps every night, plenty of playing and no working during the day, all my meals prepared for and a bath given while I play with a rubber duck. But toddlers are actually going through hellish turmoil inside.Babies come to this world with no knowledge of anything. They have just discovered how to use tools, but they don’t have the motor skills fine-tuned enough to always get the results they want. WTH?To make things worse, when toddlers are disappointed or upset, they would feel strong emotions that they have yet learned to control. While their stress response systems such as crying are mature at birth for survival reasons, their emotional regulating systems are not yet developed. The lack of vocabularies to express themselves also adds to their anger and frustration1.
In other words, they need our help.What Goes On Inside The ToddlersWhen a toddler is overcome by stress such as rage, a little alarm (amygdala) inside his emotional brain (aka limbic or lower brain) is triggered.
This alarm is mature at birth because an infant needs to be able to sense distress and signal to his parents, usually by crying, to survive. The stress hormones also hinder the toddler’s ability to access the rational thinking inside his logical brain. Similar things can happen in grownups if they haven’t learned how to handle their own emotions at young age. Only then can the logical brain rationally calm the emotional brain7.Why Parents Should Handle Toddler Tantrums With CareAt birth, babies have billions of brain cells (neurons) but not many brain cell connections (synapses). Temper tantrums are some of the most crucial life experiences in sculpting the brain.Being able to regulate emotions during tantrums allows proper brain cell connections to form. These neural pathways are essential for the child to manage stress and be assertive later in life. If a child is not given the opportunity to learn these regulating skills, for example if tantrums are met with anger or punishment, the child may grow up not being able to handle stress well or be assertive. Emotion dysregulation can also affect future social competence as well as academic performance10,11.But if handled with care, tantrums can become an invaluable life lesson in emotion regulation which has been shown to link to resiliency, social competence, academic success and even popularity12.
For example, if a child doesn’t want dinner, instead of forcing her to eat which will bring on more emotions, parent can ask her to choose to eat the meat or the vegetable first. When questions with simple choices are presented, the child’s thinking brain is activated. Distractions such as letting the toddler have another toy (but not the original one she wanted) or singing a silly song can divert the child’s attention and raise her curiosity. Curiosity piques the interest of the logical brain and triggers the release of a feel-good chemical (dopamine) in the brain.
Her thinking and verbal functions cannot be accessed.  Therefore, trying to reason with her or asking her about her feelings is a waste of time. It is important to help a child learn to regulate his emotion15.Be Calm And PositiveAny parent can tell you that toddlers mimic what grownups do.
If you get angry and start yelling at the toddler when she throws a tantrum, you are modeling how she should react when things don’t go her way. Instead, by staying calm, you are teaching her how to face difficulties and upsetting situations without losing control of emotions16.Another reason for staying calm and positive is that emotions, especially negative ones, are contagious17. Do you want your loved ones to punish you, walk away from you or lock you in a room by yourself?Sometimes a tantrum may start as means to get something the toddler wants.
But if left undealt with, it can escalate into a strong hormonal storm which a young child is not equipped to cope with by himself.


Either way, it means the child will not have the opportunity to form proper brain connections to deal with strong emotions. When facing frustrations later in life, he may struggle to be assertive or have angry outbursts.Sometimes if a toddler in distress is met with negative or lack of responses from his parents, he may stop crying. Studies have shown that distressed young children can still have high stress hormonal level inside his body18. In some cases, this dissociation between behavioral and physiological responses can lead to emotional or mental health problems later in life19.
It should only be used when the child has hurt someone intentionally such as biting or hitting and when he is not flooded with emotions. And it should be non-punitively and done in a kind and firm way.Teach VocabulariesWhen the dust has settled, when your child has thoroughly de-escalated from the intense emotional state, you can review what happened with her. Narrating what happened can also help her create those important neural connections to manage emotional situations in future.You can even tell her how you feel when she throws a tantrum. You are also teaching her how her action can affect others and what empathy is.Prevent TantrumsThere are things parents can do to prevent tantrums. When these physical factors are present, all it takes is a trigger to set things in motion. So, set a schedule of sleep-eat-rest to avoid these tantrum traps.Being bored, stressed, angry, frustrated or disappointed are effective triggers.
If you know your child will be upset when not getting something, provide alternatives or distractions in advance. When a child is in this power struggle mode, he is not flooded with hormones and intense emotions. You can tell by the lack of painful expressions.With this type of tantrums, most parents know they cannot give in or they would be teaching their children to use tantrum to get whatever they want. You can mirror his expression and shout mildly back to him, “I know you really want this. When your child feels understood, you will have his attention and the rational thinking that comes with it.
It still puts a smile on my face whenever I think of that.How Common Are Toddler Tantrums?Toddler tantrums are very common.
A study conducted by University of Wisconsin on 1219 families showed that 87% of children at 18-24 months had displayed tantrums. Your child is not bad.Why Does My Child Seem More Difficult Than Others?It is possible that your child has some inborn temperament traits that fall into the difficult category. For example, simple choices and distractions may not be enough to activate those children’s logical brains. Parents may need to do more work to restore their children’s emotional balance and spend more time teaching them how to express their feelings with words. Now to put it into practice as my son who just turned a year has tantrums in specific situations usually diaper changing, brushing teeth and getting into the stroller. I was always aware that Grace may have tantrums – thankfully they weren’t too bad!
I never knew there were different types but good to know as both of my little ones are going through that right now. I have bookmarked for future reference as we are on the cusp of the tantrum stage – he’s only 15 months but having a good go at the odd strop!



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