If you are a parent to a toddler then you know that temper tantrums, meltdowns, throwing fits of rage, and going “bizerker” (that’s my husband’s term) can happen. These things normally happen when a child is hungry, tired, or just plain bored and they hate being strapped into a seat of any kind. Here are a few tips for parents to help them stop or even prevent the whole meltdown from occurring and hopefully finish their grocery visit or whatever errand they need to get done with the toddler.
1. Always bring snacks
So this is usually a given for most moms, many dads seem to forget this one tip. Snacks are always needed at every outing with a toddler. Even if you just fed them lunch, bring them anyway!! Your toddler may be at a Target and sees something she’s hungry for and starts to freak but if you quickly pull out her favorite snack that you have saved in your bag, then she will most likely stop screaming and smile. This should at least buy you and extra ten minutes or so or until they finish their snack. Sometimes I like to find something that I wouldn’t normally offer them at home so it’s a special snack they only get when we are out and about. As many parents know, goldfish can get old, so you may have to switch it up the snacks once in a while.
2. Carry a special toy with you
This also works for the very young toddlers. My daughter use to love my keys so I bought her her own play set of keys and kept them in my purse. She was only allowed to use them at the grocery store or an outing of some kind. Once her keys got old and I was desperate, I just handed over mine which always did the trick. Just don’t be surprised if your car alarm is going off once you hit the parking lot!
3. Use discipline
This may sound harsh for very young toddlers but children that are at least 2 years old or more this will work perfectly for. If my child is acting up or starts whining about something, I will usually bring up an activity she is looking forward to or we are doing that week and use it to help calm them down. For instance, if there is a birthday party she is going to that weekend, I will say, “Do you want to go to your friend’s birthday party Sat?” Once they say yes, then I’ll add that she needs to behave now otherwise I won’t take her to the party. I’ve even used something as simple as visiting their grandparents that day or going to the park.
4. Let them help you
This also can depend on how old your child is but I even have my 18 month old helping me while we shop. I have her carry the list (yes, sometimes, she wants to eat it but I take it from her if that happens) and I talk to her throughout the entire grocery visit. I tell her the things that we need and sometimes I let her hold different items. Toddlers love to feel the texture of different things so holding certain grocery items excites them when they can be a part of the experience.
Yes…dance!! Maybe I should put this one at number one because I swear it seems to work almost every time I do it and I’ve used this very often. It is embarrassing in the grocery store but it really works very well! There are those times when our children are just grumpy for whatever reason, maybe they didn’t nap long enough or not at all and it’s too late for them to nap now and they are throwing a fit of rage. This is not their fault if it’s been a busy day, discipline will not work since they did nothing wrong so really at this point they just need some cuddles, lots of hugs, and maybe watching mommy or daddy dance around like a fool will help and in most cases, it usually does. Turn on the dance music and have some fun, I guarantee the tantrum will stop or at least it will buy you a few minutes of happiness.
6. Stay Calm
This is most important for the parent to stay calm. When your toddler is freaking out and you have tried every possible technique but nothing is working, just remember to stay calm. Sometimes, they just want to be held because they are tired. So it’s better to take them out of the cart and carry them for a short while if nothing else works. Always remain calm though because usually if you get upset, they react negatively and get even more upset. Yes, I have had days when I had spit up in my hair, one child is crying hysterically and the other one tells you they have to go potty all while you are finally at the check out line. Just remember to take a deep breath and remind yourself that this stage in your child’s life is very short and in the blink of an eye it will be over so enjoy every moment with your children, temper tantrums and all!