7 Ways to Deal with Toddler Tantrums that Work

Last Updated on March 9, 2021 by Michele Tripple

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Toddler tantrums are really hard to deal with. With these great tips, you will be able to handle any toddler tantrums and meltdowns that are thrown your way!


Ways to Deal with Toddler Tantrums and Toddler Meltdowns that Work

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Toddler Tantrums can be really challenging. One second your toddler is as happy as can be, and the next they are having a meltdown. Difficulties seem to multiply tremendously when a young child decides they aren’t happy with something and it can be hard not to lose our cool and have a meltdown ourselves when we can’t seem to gain control of the situation or their behavior.

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I hate to break it to you, but toddler tantrums are just a part of these toddler’s tender sweet minds and their development. They are pretty much unavoidable. But, there are ways to help and cope with tantrums and meltdowns.

Ways to Deal With Toddler Tantrums that Work

How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums and Toddler Meltdowns that Work


Avoid Triggers

This isn’t always doable. Sometimes kids just want to be mad, and that’s okay! I know that for me, having something for my son to look forward to really helps in preventing a tantrum from happening. If I tell him what is going on and what steps we are planning to take in order to accomplish what we are doing, he is much less likely to get upset. This is a good setup for smooth transitions. Transitions, moving from one task to another, often can trigger a meltdown with our kiddos. Help them know what to expect!

Try to recognize what sets your child off. Like I said, not always avoidable, but this could help in minimizing how often they happen. Be sure they aren’t hungry or tired. These are probably the top 2 reasons kids aren’t able to regulate their emotions in the first place. Maybe carry a favorite snack or drink to have on hand with you when you go out and about. If you are prepared, your chances are better to avoid a meltdown.  



Don’t Get Upset with Your Toddler

I feel like this is the hardest part for me. Whether I’m frustrated with my son not wanting to get dressed and have a timeline that I need to abide by or I’m in the middle of Target with a wailing 2-year-old that wants to touch everything, I struggle with not getting fired up and flustered. My thoughts start racing and I just want my child to do what I want or need them to do. This isn’t how we should react though!

Think about it, when we get upset with our kids for having a tantrum, aren’t we having a meltdown ourselves? We need to teach by example and set the stage for calm behavior.

Check this post out and try the steps to help with being more patient.


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Address Your Toddler’s Feelings

Get down to their level and speak directly to them.

Look them in the eyes.

Ask them, “Are you feeling mad?” or “Are you feeling sad?”

When we can help our children identify and label their emotions and their feelings, they are better off with being able to learn how to deal with big feelings in the future.

Begin by teaching them early!  When we teach our children how to label their emotions then we are on the road to avoid a meltdown and prevent tantrums.  


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Be Understanding of Your Toddler’s Feelings

Ways to Deal with Toddler Tantrums that Work

Everyone is different in how they cope. Some kids may want their space when they have lost their cool. Sometimes they just need to get their emotions and feelings out. Maybe they are angry and need to scream or maybe they need to stomp around a bit to help flush everything out. If this is what they need to do, take precautions to be sure they are safe and ride it out. We need to be that safe place for our children to express their emotions.  We need to be that safe place to help our children pick up the pieces when they have had a meltdown.  


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One of my children was prone to needing his space, so I was sure to give him some room and turn away so that he didn’t feel overwhelmed by my watching his every move.

Other kids may want to be loved and shown affection. Big hugs and a back rub can calm some kids down instantly. My daughter is one that does best with cuddling her and holding her really tight until we can talk about it and figure a solution out.

Again, remember that every person is different. Don’t try and force your toddler to accept a hug from you if they are trying to resist it.


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Don’t Give in To Your Toddler’s Demands

Toddler tantrums are really hard to deal with. With these great tips, you will be able to handle any toddler tantrums that are thrown your way!

Seriously though… Don’t just give in to whatever your child is wanting their way just to get them to stop their tantrums in the moment. This is probably one of the most challenging parts of managing tantrums!

Stand your Ground! Some things just have to be a certain way.

It reinforces certain behaviors if we are willing to give in when all craziness breaks loose! If you aren’t wanting your child to continue to throw fits, don’t let them have what they are demanding. Consistency is key. Consistency helps create a safe place for our children.  


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Distract or Redirect Your Toddler

Your best tool with kids is to distract them, especially toddlers. Create some kind of diversion. Try and make a silly face. Give them a little tickle. Make them laugh! One way to distract or redirect our children, is to play a game and engage them in something they are interested in. One of my kids’ favorite games is making rhymes. Mom or Dad says a word and they try to think of one that rhymes with it. With really young kids, visual games like ‘I Spy’ or ‘Find the Letter or Color’ are a great way to distract them or redirect them


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Sometimes simply getting their minds off of what is setting them off is all they need.

Toddler tantrums are really hard! And it’s not fun to be the parent at the store with a wailing child. Hopefully, these things can help your toddler avoid a tantrum and you a meltdown! Stay consistent and just remember that as you go about teaching them and helping them through managing their big emotions, they will grow up to be wonderful adults with amazing emotional intelligence.


Help Your Toddler Learn to Regulate Their Emotions

Teach your toddler how to calm down. This will come with time, but remember that a child’s meltdown may be the perfect learning moment for empathy. Show them how to react to things that are hard for others.

Also, help them understand a way to calm themselves down. Maybe they need a comfort item like a blanket or binkie. Show them how you calm down. Try breathing exercises or closing your eyes for a short period of time to center yourself.

Toddlers learn from example, so make it a good parenting moment where they can be taught positive behaviors.


What do you do during toddler meltdowns that helps? Tell us in the comments!



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8 thoughts on “7 Ways to Deal with Toddler Tantrums that Work”

  1. This post was on point. It helped remind me how to deal with those toddler “fits”. I had my first two children very close in age and waited a long time and had my 3rd and forgot alllll about these tantrums-and was at lost. Thanks for the tips and reminding me that it’s going to happen but now just how to manage and cope with them!

  2. These are great tips. I am a nanny and I have worked with so many toddlers and my own son had epic ones. I do think that with the younger ones it is easier to try to identify the emotions for them. They usually don’t know the difference between sad and mad. I would say, “You seem angry (or sad, or both)” to help them learn the names of those scary emotions.

  3. Oh geez if I could have recorded the tantrums my boys had tonight at chick fil a. Parents were seriously alarmed by their rage. For the first time I am finally trying this set to stand my ground because I always cave! Like every time! It was hard but great (internally for me) ha not the screaming! Love all the tips!!!! Thanks


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