How To Help Your Toddler Work Through A Tantrum

Your toddler has to "work through" tantrums. Toddlers have tantrums as they cope with new emotions and stress.
Toddler Tantrums | Help Toddlers Deal With Tantrums
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How To Help Your Toddler Work Through A Tantrum

I think tantrums are a common experience for parents especially with toddlers and younger kids and one thing that's really helpful to understand is that tantrums are a normal and actually a necessary part of child development. It's certainly important to try and minimize them from happening in the first place so we can try and think about what situations might leave a child feeling frustrated, or overly tired or hungry or those sorts of things. But, even preventing tantrums as much as possible is not going to eliminate them. So, once the tantrum is started and once the child is past a certain point of upset, really the most important thing is to survive the tantrum, to help the child and to help you get through it without it leading to a bigger problem. Sometimes , parents start throwing consequences at children when they're upset and this can lead to an increased heightening and escalation and really that's not the time to introduce something that's going to be even more frustrating for your child. Wait until later if you need to add a consequence and know that this too shall pass. That it's a normal part of child development and it's a necessary part of children learning how to regulate their emotions and their feelings.

Your toddler has to "work through" tantrums. Toddlers have tantrums as they cope with new emotions and stress.


Expert Bio

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John Grienenberger, PhD

Family Psychologist

John Grienenberger, PhD, is a psychologist, attachment researcher, and Co-Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Reflective Parenting in Los Angeles. He is also Clinical Director of PCH Treatment Center. He has extensive experience in family work, and has trained hundreds of therapists in his mentalization-based approach to working with families. He has authored numerous papers, presentations, and training programs in the areas of psychotherapy, attachment, mentalization, and parenting, and has conducted trainings and presentations both nationally and internationally. He has a part-time private practice in West Los Angeles conducting psychological and psychoeducational testing as well as providing psychotherapy to children, adults, families, and couples. Along with spending time with his 12 year old daughter and nine year old son, John also enjoys backpacking, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking.

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