“Stop crying!” is of the most useless phrases said by parents – it only triggers tears and whining. See your kid is on the verge of hysteria? How to prevent toddler tantrums and calm children down before the outburst happens? Here are 15 interesting tricks and approaches that work.
Before we observe them, let me remind you: your kid has every right to cry whenever feeling sad, tired, insulted, or for no obvious reason. In many cases, the biggest mistake parents make is suppress crying instead of letting it go. We all need to let off the steam sometimes, and crying is natural, especially for kids. So if your children are crying, let them take their time – once emotions are released, tears will disappear.
Now, let’s check how to prevent toddler tantrums in the bud.
1. Let’s Do It Later?
Remind your kid of some important matter: “Let us cry later. Sun will sit down soon, and if you cry for a long time, we won’t have time to walk.”You don’t take away the baby’s right to tears, just ask for a delay. Surprisingly, many children agree to such a concession!
2. Conscious Crying
Ask the child to cry in a low voice, for example, ‘not to wake up the daddy’. If kid obeys, real crying won’t happen. Rather, it will turn into a vocal exercise that ceases quickly.
3. Miss A Whim
Unnoticed ignored bad mood can pass by itself. But you should see the difference between the situations: when your participation and care are needed, don’t show indifference. Help the child to “jump over” a whim. For example, the toddler protests against dressing, and you ask him: “What do you think, have the leaves appeared on our birch tree? Come, see.” This way, a child will need to dress faster and go outside – there’s a clear motivation to do something.
4. A Quick Cry
Your 1-year-old is whining? Try to hurry the child with “quickly-quickly” words so that she/he does not have time to come up with an objection. Most likely, this approach will work with small toddlers only – older kids will recognize manipulation.
This approach will also work with a whiny 18-month-old rather than older kids. However, it might do the trick regardless of the child’s condition. Outtalking requires great energy. The whole point of the method is to talk, talk, talk. A kid will listen and forget about crying.
In the same manner, you can start feeding the kid (I give my daughter juice, and it works in 90% cases) or make them tea. This way, active behavior transforms into passive, but remember that it won’t last long – kids can’t cope with such a conversational load for more than 5-10 minutes. You will need to try another trick from your repertoire.
6. Add Some Fun
How to prevent toddler tantrums that haven’t started yet? Try something funny: tickle your kid or tell them an interesting story. Make your little one smile – it might shoo sadness away. Note that this approach works until you see tears on kid’s face.
7. Magic Anti-Sadness Pills
Play a doctor who treats a bad mood: give your child “magic pills against tears and bad mood”. Those might be gummy bears, chewing sweets, or multivitamins for kids. The pills don’t work? Then explain the doctor won’t give them anymore.
8. Watch The Birdie!
Try to distract the baby. The traditional “Watch the birdie!” might work with babies and small toddlers, but what about older children? You can say differently: “Oh, what is it? Let me pull out your eyelash – it doesn’t let you cry.” Maybe it sounds dumb, but you should try this kind of distraction – many kids lap it up.
Older and smarter kids should be distracted by something real, for example, surprises. When you see a toddler ready to burst into tears, say “Hey, do you hear something crawling in the kitchen? It’s a mouse that brought you cookies. Go check it!” Of course, you must prepare the surprise beforehand. Don’t lie because if the child realizes your fraud, things will get only worse.
10. Statement Of The Fact
Sounds absurd, but sometimes kids simply need you to explain what’s the reason for their emotions. For instance, you can say “Oh, you cry because we can’t go for a walk” with proper intonation, and… sadness will disappear! How does it work? Answer yourself: “When do kids stop crying?” Of course, when parents pay attention and start understanding them. Seeing your empathy and support, a toddler calms down – there’s no reason to show disappointment anymore.
11. Release The Emotions
Give your kid a pillow/toy hammer/ball or anything that will allow them to let negative emotions out. Watch your little one getting calmer with every beat or kick made. No one gets harmed when kids play games to reduce aggression and sadness – it’s a win-win scenario.
12. Come Up With A Funny Ritual
What does it mean? Whenever a toddler starts crying, make something funny for distraction. Switch on a hair blow to “dry the tears” or put a handkerchief in Superman toy figure’s hands – he will fly to save your boy from sadness. This is another way to show your support and understanding.
13. Appeal To Humor
Be cautious with this approach: your kid should understand you’re joking. Say “Here comes a crying monster! Who is it? Go away, I want my Lucy back!” Such phrases will only work with kids older than 3, I guess.
This approach will work when a kid starts yelling: the louder kid gets, the softer you speak. Start whispering something, and the child will have to make less noise to hear you. It’s a great trick that helps to switch a child’s attention.
15. Hugs & Kisses – The Best Way To Prevent Toddler Tantrums
When all else fails, hug and kiss your son or daughter. Dad’s warm hugs and mom’s sweet kisses are the most powerful remedy against bad mood. Express your love to kids, and they will throw tantrums less often.