There is no foolproof method to prevent your tot from throwing their toys- tantrums will happen. It’s simply a natural stage in your child’s development, which fortunately will pass. Toddlers are much like teenagers, just a whole lot cuter. They’ve just begun to get a taste of independence, they’re acquiring language, they are mobile and they mean business! Suddenly they are boldly staring you in the face shouting “I can do it myself” or “I want it”. Let the power struggle begin.
Here are some tried and tested strategies that may help you win the struggle:
Be consistent: Without consistency, kids have a hard time controlling themselves. Establish a routine so your child knows what to expect. Have nap times at certain times of the day etc. Then you can choose the times of your shopping trips wisely – taking a toddler to the supermarket when nap time is approaching is dangerous.
Plan ahead: Always pack a small toy or snack to occupy your toddler when you head out to the supermarket. Its also good to keep them updated with planned events so the surprise element isn’t an issue. “After the park, we’re going to the supermarket..”
Divert attention: Take advantage of your tot’s short attention span. If you sense a tantrum brewing, try to distract your child before they blow up. Suggest a new activity or change location.
Give your toddler some control: Fulfill your little one’s need for independence and offer them some choices, such as “would you like to nap now or later”, this way they can’t answer with the inevitable “no” – to all things nap-like!
Praise good behaviour: Offer extra attention when your child behaves well. Sometimes kids just want attention. To a child, sometimes negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Even just commenting on what they’re doing whenever toddlers aren’t having a tantrum can help increase positive behaviour.