Phew…is there anything like toddler anger? I think not! If you are at your wit’s end trying to deal with your kiddos outbursts of anger, find some refuge within these tips! Most importantly, remember, things take time to change. So, find your method and be consistent to see results.
1. Don’t show a sense of being overwhelmed.
Dealing with toddler anger can be an out of this world experience. It can be overwhelming and utterly stressful. Depending on your child’s personality, he/she can become more stirred up by seeing you come undone or by you losing your temper as well.
Placing yourself in a position of authority (even if you feel like you want to lose it on the inside, will benefit the both of you) gives your toddler a sense of stability for when they start to come down off of their anger high when you sense that little break in the high-level drama, that is when your child will be more able to pick up on your temperament and influence.
At that moment, show your child your strength and loving authority, that they NOW must start to go in the way that you’re showing them.
2. Model a different response
It can be a difficult thing to try and understand what your toddler is angry about. However, as you spend the days together, you do begin to understand what is setting your child off intuitively. You begin to understand the “hot” buttons that send your baby into over the top mode.
Again, when your child begins to come down from the peak of anger, take that moment as a teachable moment. If what your child is angry about is a tangible event that you can replicate, model in front of your child a better way to respond.
For instance, if your babe is done eating, model how to signal being done. Instead of throwing the food in anger or aggressively pushing your hand away, model shaking your head to signal being done. If you have a spouse who can roleplay with you, it will make the modeling even more powerful.
3. Let other trusted authority figures help shape your child.
Overall, rearing children is no small feat! Rounding out a child who seems to have anger tendencies adds to the venture, indeed. Sometimes, our children need to hear the shaping and commands of other people to help reinforce the work we do at home with them.
One example would be spending time with grandma and grandpa. Ensure that their actions will support your goal of curbing some of that anger. Talk about your struggle and that you would love their help. Figure out a game plan they can participate in when your child decides to shoot through the roof.
4. Enroll your child in a class.
I am talking about a class where they have to listen and follow the leadership of someone else-a class where authority is strongly present but has a nurturing dynamic to it.
For instance, toddler gymnastics, martial arts, or basketball are good examples. Why? Well, usually, the coaches involved are not just teaching techniques. They are also teaching emotional management, focus, listening skills, team playing skills, and respect for authority. That is huge!
If your child has an extra dose of that outside of the home, you can bet there will be quicker results in them managing their anger and being more compliant in the home.
5. Sense when your toddler needs to cry it out.
As you learn your child, you will be able to understand when it is an unjustified outburst of wrath, or they are hurt by something. Some personality types require you to leave your child alone for a little bit and let him/her process it.
When calming down is evident, begin to teach your toddler how to “use your words.” Help them to connect what they are feeling with simple and easy words. Repeat this process often, as it will begin to stick, and you will take note of them being better able to signal what is wrong.
6. When you slip up in anger, make it a teachable moment.
Children understand so much more than we know. They watch and absorb everything that we do! The best way to correct that is to use our example to teach kiddos( in simple terms), why our reaction was bad. Then share alternative, happier ways of handling anger.
7. Quickly intercept.
Now, there are times when you must “nip” the anger in the bud. When your toddler is interacting with another child, and you can see the anger outburst on the horizon, stop it in mid-air! Redirect your child’s energy to being kind. Remind your kiddo to be gentle, to share or to wait their turn.
If necessary, pull your toddler away and remind him/her what you expect. What you expect should already be things that you have practiced and talked about in the home.
8. Clear discipline.
When the outbursts of anger are a rebellious tantrum or repeated testing of boundaries, your child should know what type of discipline he/she can expect to receive. Communicate what is to come and be swift to implement. If there is too much time that has passed without swift correction, that may not work. Your child may not make the connection of what they are being disciplined for.
That won’t do you or your toddler any good. The same cycles will keep happening. Your child needs to make the connection between rebellious outbursts and discipline quickly. Understanding that connection can begin to make life easier for everyone involved.
10. Reward progress.
Rewarding progress can be tricky because you don’t want to reward every little thing. Unfortunately, that does not create true change. Create a structured reward system where your child can understand what is being rewarded and why. If goals are clear, your toddler can line up with the right actions.