Tantrums 101: How to Calm a Screaming Toddler
Children get upset for many reasons as we all know. It can be difficult and overwhelming if you are in a situation where you are already feeling stressed and under a time constraint.
Although it may take some time, time is what is needed. Time to focus on your child and find out what the problem is. In many cases as all parents know, a child will get upset for you simply telling them no. But, when it is more, we need more information. Here are a few steps to get your child calmed in a store that may help the next time this happens.
1) Get on your childs level. Kneal or bend depending on where your child is.
2) Start by asking pointed questions that may give you a clue as to what could be the issue. Speak in gentle tones, this will help calm the situation slightly. "Does something hurt? Are you tired? Do you need to go potty?" By starting with the basics, you can sometimes get your child to calm and begin to think about why they were upset.
3) If the answer is no, if your child can communicate it is time to move to the next line of questioning. "Do you want to walk instead of ride in the cart? Did you really want the toy? Are you ready to go home?" Of course this doesn't always work either. If it is about a toy, sometimes by letting the child play with it for the few minutes in the store can help keep them quiet. When you get to the register, simply ask your child to give it to the nice cashier to ring it up, then give a signal to the cashier that you don't want it and they will work with you. By this time your child may have already forgotten about the toy. When you get to your car, if you have a toy in the car, give them that one as a substitute.
4) If your frustration level is increasing, then it is time to go to the next step, a change of scenery. You need to take your child out of the area you are in, locate the restroom. Calmly walk into the restroom with your child and again try the line of questioning in a soft voice. The change may help your child all by itself. Sometimes a child can just get overwhelmed in a crowd especially if someone accidently bumped them or there were so many people they got scared. The normal response of course is to get upset.
5) Sometimes you just have to wait it out. This is and can be the most difficult part especially if you are on a time crunch, but unfortunately it is a necessary process to do. You and your child need the time to get the situation calmed down. If you have found that by moving to the bathroom that this has not helped, take your child back out and finish what you were doing. Sometimes babies and young children just have to cry.
People may think you are ignoring your child and question you. Smile and politely answer if you wish by giving a response of "tired, thirsty." what ever may keep the curiosity level down.
When you are out and about, it is always a good idea to keep a few things with you incase your child does start to become upset. Sippy cup, favorite blanket, small toy, snacks. By being prepared, most of the time, these situations can be avoided and will make for a pleasant trip to the store. Being prepared is always helpful, although many of us seldom remember this especially when we are in a hurry. Another great trick, keep a small extra bag in your automobile that has a few extra items in it that your child likes as much. Keep it in a place where you can grab it quickly upon climbing out of your car. Near the child seat on the floor is always good.
By planning ahead, we as parents can sometimes avoid tantrums by supplying ourselves with solutions we can stay calm and attempt to handle the tantrums in a more calm fashion.