Why Not To Stop Toddler Tantrums — And What To Do Instead

Parents, don't stop toddler tantrums. Just reassure toddlers after a tantrum and help with "big feelings."
Toddler Tantrums | Don't Stop Toddler Tantrums, Embrace Them
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Why Not To Stop Toddler Tantrums — And What To Do Instead

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Parents have a lot of concerns when their children have temper tantrums. I think we first have to define temper tantrums. Toddlers are stressed and they have very few ways of relieving that stress. Temper tantrums can be the most effective way for them to relieve that stress. It is normal for a child to have a temper tantrum. If you'll notice, after a child has a temper tantrum, if they've been supported, they are more affection, calmer, and more centered. We don't have to stop the temper tantrums. You can say, "Wow, you are having big feelings. I'm here if you need me." Giving that message is saying to the child that you can be there for them, even when they have intense feelings. When the frequency of the temper tantrums increase, we may have to look at the structure of the day. Is the child being too stressed out? Often with toddlers, you can decrease the amount of stress by reducing the amount of transitions during the day. Children's behavior give us really important information about the level of stress that they have, and how they are handling it.

Parents, don't stop toddler tantrums. Just reassure toddlers after a tantrum and help with "big feelings."

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Barbara Olinger, MSW

Parenting Consultant

Barbara Olinger has her master's degree in social work and has been working with children and families in both therapeutic and educational settings for over 30 years. She is currently Director of Family Development at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside and has a private practice focusing on parenting education and teacher training.  She is the author of the parenting book, Growing From the Roots: A Practical Guide to the Art of Parenting, now on DVD along with Welcoming Your Second Child. She has two sons, ages 23 and 20 years old.  

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