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There is nothing in this world that will make you feel more powerless than your child pitching a temper tantrum. At that moment, you may desperately want to make the tantrum stop, while simultaneously realizing that if you make one wrong move, everything could go to hell in a handbasket, real fast.

The thing is, much like a combination lock, if you know the right combination, you are going to get the results you are looking for. When it comes to parenting, much of how you handle things is in the small habits that you integrate into your life and your little ones, because that can make all the difference in the world. Aside from prevention, I have also offered some tips for handling a tantrum at the moment. Here are 8 effective ways for handling your child’s temper tantrums.

1. Stay consistent.

A bit of consistency can go a long way with anyone. The thing is, children like to have control over their surroundings, and to feel secure. If they have no routine, and everything is inconsistent and chaotic, they are going to end up feeling overstimulated and stressed out. Provide them with a safety net of a consistent routine. By doing so, they won’t be as upset about normal things like meals, bedtime, etc, because they know what is coming. After all, it happens at the same time every day.

2. Reward good behavior.

Take advantage of the moments in which your child is on their best behavior. Encourage them to continue by praising them and showing positive attention to the right behavior.

3. Give them some control over little things.

Of course, you cannot hand the reins over to a two-year-old, but you can give them a little bit of control. They might be demanding a candy bar, but if you show them two healthy snacks you’d prefer they eat, grab their attention and allow them to choose their (healthy) snack. The reason this works better than just saying, “You are going to do what I tell you to do,” is because it allows them to feel like they at least have some power.

4. Keep off-limits objects stowed away.

If you don’t want them to touch or play with something, keep it put up. That way, there is no way for them to get ahold of it, only for you to take it away. And on the flip side, if they can’t see it, they can’t beg for it. If they can’t see it or grab it, there’s nothing to get upset about in regards to that.

5. Distract them.

Kids have shorter attention spans, especially toddlers. So, if your child is pitching a tantrum, quickly distract them. Make funny faces at them, or smile at them or hug them. Do something to get their attention off of whatever it is that they are upset about.

6. Know/understand their limits.

Kids have limits. And if you are constantly pushing them, your child is going to be upset. So, make sure before you begin doing something with them, or taking them somewhere, that you aren’t putting them in a position that will exceed their limits.

7. Ask the important questions.

When your child is upset, ask the following questions: are they hungry, are they tired, are they overstimulated, are they hot, are they cold, and do they need some quiet space? People get upset. You would be upset if you are hungry and tired, and so will your kids. Be understanding of that and try to not get too upset with them if they are upset because they don’t feel great.

8. Level with them.

When your child is getting upset, sit down with them and talk them through it. You can say something like, “I understand you are tired. I get upset when I am tired too. It’s okay to be upset. Is there anything I can do to help?”