Toddler tantrums often occur at the worst times. Whether it's in a public place, when you have to make a quick call to a client or if you're rushing out the door, a meltdown is never convenient or desirable. There are ways to avoid them, and over time, they will happen less and less.
1. Make Changes to Your Toddler's Diet
There's a medically proven connection between diet and moods. The wrong diet can cause many digestive health problems and immune system disorders that can result in your child having meltdowns. If you're unaware of this medical fact, you may think that all of your toddler tantrums can be helped and that they just need to stop. In some instances, that's true, but in many cases, the problem lies in what you're feeding them. Here are some problem foods to consider eliminating from your toddler's diet:
- Foods with artificial coloring
- Non-organic sugars
- High corn fructose syrup, found in many processed foods and drinks
- Food that are genetically modified and foods that contain pesticides
- Ingredients such as soy, corn, gluten and casein, which may exacerbate other mental or physical conditions causing the meltdown
Test what foods your child is sensitive to by eliminating them from the diet, and then reintroducing them to determine whether there is a reaction. For example, if you eliminate gluten and there are fewer meltdowns, but when you reintroduce gluten foods and the meltdowns return, then you know what the problem is.
2. Let Your Toddler Nap
You can avoid toddler tantrums if you let your child nap during the day. Not allowing your toddler to nap for at least an hour during the daytime is certainly inviting a meltdown. Your toddler doesn't have the skills to tell you that she is tired. Instead, she will show you by having a meltdown. There are many benefits to napping for you and your toddler. She will get the rest she needs, while you can squeeze in another hour of work.
3. Establish Routines
Many children thrive on set daily routines that they can count on. If you're constantly changing what happens on a daily basis, and your toddler has no way to predict what will happen next, she will become afraid and express that in meltdowns. It's tough to develop routines if you hate routines yourself. You may be working from home to escape the routine office job. Your child cannot handle much freedom yet, and routines are one way to establish boundaries. You don't have to schedule every minute of your day, but try to come up with general themes for blocks of hours, such as mornings are for storytime and learning, and afternoons are for playtime, chores and educational videos.
4. Don't Spoil Your Toddler
If you always give your toddler what she wants, you'll get a meltdown when you say no. You can avoid toddler tantrums by teaching her that she will not get everything she asks for when she wants it. It also lays the foundation for raising a responsible child who learns to give, instead of always expecting to get from others.
None of these suggestions will get rid of all meltdowns, but it should reduce them significantly. You'll also have to work hard at implementing each, but if you stand your ground, you'll reap the benefits.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.