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slides: Mum’s the Word: 5 Secrets for Surviving Toddler Tantrums

Friday, February 20, 2015



Everything was ruined when I committed the crime of grabbing the wrong sparkly shoes.

Toddlers are a wonderful gift. More often than not, they’re the ones most likely to remind us grown ups of the preciousness of life, restoring both our sense of wonder and enthusiasm. 

Then again, toddlers are also in possession of a lot of volatile emotions and have the uncanny ability of being able to transform from an angelic three year old to a creature that could easily be cast as the child star of a Wes Craven horror film. 

See Slides Below: 5 Secrets for Surviving Toddler Tantrums

Last week, my three year old was just as happy as could be, as we were getting ready to leave for the day. Alas, everything was ruined when I committed the crime of grabbing the wrong sparkly shoes. 

What followed, of course, was a fifteen-minute tantrum. 

Suddenly, I became deeply empathetic with Jennifer Connelly’s iconic line from the film “Labyrinth,”  “I can bear it no longer! Goblin King! Goblin King! Wherever you may be take this child of mine far away from me!”

I know I’m not the only parent who’s been there before. 

You know…that parent who’s just about ready to fall on her sword but can’t because she neither owns a sword nor does she want to leave her child an orphan.

So instead, I decided to make a helpful list of my top five secrets for dealing with tantrums (see slideshow below).


Related Slideshow: 5 Secrets for Surviving Toddler Tantrums

Here are five secrets that I have found help with dealing with toddler tantrums.

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1. Don’t Get Upset 

Since absolutely nothing productive ever gets done when two people are upset, take a deep breath when you feel yourself start to morph into the Hulk. Step away until you calm down and are ready to deal with the situation like…an adult. 

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2. Don’t Give In

I know it’s hard when ten minutes have passed, and this child of the corn is STILL crying. But please, for the love of God, stick to your initial instinct and don’t give your child the meat cleaver that he is crying for. Serious side note: When we give in to what our kids are screaming for, it proves that having tantrums is an effective way “to get what you want.”

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3. Block Out the People Around You

If you’re in public, and at some point your child will have a tantrum in public, block out the people around you. Sure, they might be judging you and writing a Facebook status about how parents need to learn to handle their damn kids when they’re shopping. But who cares, what matters most is that you stay focused on your child and don’t stress yourself out further by worrying about what strangers, who you will never see again, thinks about you and your parenting skills.

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4. Walk Away

A lot of times, children stop “acting out” when their target audience is no longer available. Unless, of course, you're still in public. You should probably stay by the child in that case. 

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5. Tell Them You Love Them

This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it doesn’t hurt to remind your child that no matter how they behave, you will always be there for them, loving them. This might actually get your child to stop fighting you, or it might simply just be a good reminder for yourself. Either way, sometimes saying “I love you” is the best response we can offer.


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