How We’re Managing Tantrums

We’re going through a very interesting time with Aden right now. He’s over two years old and displaying some of the ‘terrible two’ behaviors other parents warn about. He’s still learning how to articulate his needs well, and with that comes tantrums. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a complete angel most of the time, but when something frustrates him or he has a captive audience, things can turn quickly. Now with a new baby sister getting a lot of attention, managing tantrums has been even harder. But Adam and I have been diligent about teaching him that this behavior isn’t the right way to get what you want, and so when a meltdown hits, we try to take action immediately.

Tantrums

Just like we’re experiencing with potty training, figuring out the best method for changing Aden’s behavior can be a lot of guess work. First time parents know what I mean. We’ve seen parents use the 1,2,3 method on their children and heard others who still think spanking might be the way to go. For us, we’ve found a blend of techniques that are working well with managing Aden’s tantrums. Because sometimes he’s just tired and needs a nap, and other times he needs a little discipline.

To start we usually try the distraction method. My bag is loaded with little toy trains and Aden’s iPad for those moments when a meltdown is just beginning–you know the kind that blind sides you and begins for no reason? Yeah. This often works because whatever was frustrating him disappears when he sees something he loves (and boy does he love trains).

If that doesn’t work and he’s acting out, we try putting him in the corner for a minute or two, or making him stay in his room for a short period to ‘work it out’. He’ll often come away from the corner with a cute little apology and a hug (who can resist that face?). He comes out of his room once he’s calmed down enough that we can take care of whatever set him off in the first place.

I bring all of this up because I’m curious about your experiences. When I posted about potty training on Instagram, there was such great feedback. I also mention it because it really makes us think, especially now that we have Ariah as well. We’re constantly assessing the way we parent, but realize that ever child is unique. The way they learn and express themselves is so different. Who knows if the same methods we use on Aden now will work for Ariah down the road.

If anything, we just know that patience and love are key. Tantrums are part of being two, but if we can make them less frequent, then why not!

Would love to hear what worked for you. Did you let your child grow out of it, or were there practices that kept meltdowns at bay?

Xx,
Tamera

Photo: Katee Grace Photography
  • Daynia Cheddar

    Hey Tamera, I don’t know you personally but j have no doubt that you are raising your children well! I think what is essential for most kids is structure and consistency. I don’t have any children of my own yet but I have been working with children for many years and I have seen the impact that inconsistent parenting has on the children. In any case, I don’t think you and Adam will have problem with that! May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family!

  • Melissa Zelaya

    I have a son and daughter almost the exact same ages as yours and we pretty much handle the tantrums the same way! I try to reiterate the fact that a tantrum is not the way to ask for something and that he needs to use his words and hands to help me help him

  • Scarlette Phommathep

    We started talking to our son who is now 4 and explaining that bad behavior is not acceptable. We explain the consequence if he repeats bad behavior and have him repeat it back so we are sure he understands. Then giving him the power to make the good or bad choice. if the bad choice is made We don’t count or give empty threats or warning. We just follow through with the consequence. Always making sure the consequence is relatable to the situation. So we are not seen as just being mean or unfair. With kids it’s always attention and power struggles. They always want to be in control. So giving them the power to make their own choices is good for them. This has worked wonders for us. Doesn’t always work and sometimes spankings are in order or just a nap. But for the most part I’m happy with the results. Hope this helps.

  • Sarah

    I agree consistency is definitely the key. Also loads of positive attention and praise when they are being well behaved. My first daughter is 3 in January and we are definitely coming out of the terrible twos. So keep going mummy!xx

  • isabel canela

    Hello, I’m 23 years old. I have a son, he’s about to be 2 yeara old. What works for me is lwt him cry … not pay attention to him. Then he stop crying in a few seconds. It’s so funny. I still try for him not to see me laugh. And he calms down and talks to me. Of course that only happends when mom and dad is around. . When aunts and uncles specially grandma is around… there’s no rules.. ? How do you work it out without offending anyone how do you take control of being your son’s mother.. ,?? help!!!!!

  • Tiffany

    I have a three year old and tantrums will only get worse. At this age I find that my son just wants to express himself and be heard even though he doesn’t have all the tools yet. Close to age two I had to become consistent and implemented time outs. A minute for each year. I will also ask him to go to his room. If these don’t work taking away something he enjoys (his cars) and lastly physical discipline if the behavior persists. I am not suggesting doing all these consecutively. Ultimately, you know what’s best for your child and family.

  • Sophia

    I have 4 children .ages 7, 6 , 3 and 6 months. My methods of discipline have been pretty much the same for each BUT my results for each child have been very different. I am just now learning that the way I discipline must be tailor made for my child. What do I mean? Well my 7 Yr old is such a sensitive, loving soul & words carry alot of weight with him so when I discipline him we talk it out an time out works fabulous for him! My 6 year old however is strong willed, very active & rather argue than listen so tie out & talks are not very successful with her. She challenges me to research & seek out different methods of discipline. I’m learning & growing in the process. I love blogs such as yours, they really challenge me to keep trying, keep loving, keep teaching.

  • Christina

    I have a 5 year old daughter and the easiest most effective way to stop her tantrums was to ignore her. She quickly got over whatever upset her and moved on once she saw that we did not entertain it. That was a quick phase in our house and we haven’t had the problems again.

  • MimiM

    You guys guys seem to have it well under control and I’m sure you’re doing your best. As an educator, I sometimes find that by the time kids reach elementary school, they have a limited vocabulary when it comes to how they are feeling. With my son, I made sure to give him time to calm down, or ask him to think about his behavior. The next step would be for either one of us to talk to him and invite the proper words to describe his emotions. In my case, growing up in a conservative and strict Caribbean household meant you had no rights lol! I turned out well I think. You guys are awesome so the children have good models to follow. Blessings!

  • Travis

    I’m Bahamian which I know is part of your heritage…..”we spank till you get it right” lol My parents from a child always spanked and I think its because of our culture that’s the first resort parents usually use. That time out method..nah that doesn’t seem to work. Maybe for some but most of us here in The Bahamas know about getting the spanking of our lives and you better believe we were on our best behavior after that. I like your methods though its different.

  • Heather Francisco

    I have a 3 year old …he’s a boy .Let me just say …he is so difficult to handle…I never met a kid like him hahaha,I myself use the 1,2,3 method and it works for me and I ignore him sometimes but their are harder days that I need to give him an little tap on the butt butt (not to happy about it ) as a mom I tried everything sitting in the corner for time out does not work at all…my son is 100% active like an engerizer battery that keeps going and going ? and he is stubborn ….LIKEEEE REALLLY!!! But I love my son so much ….that’s why I would
    Never give up on him!!! Love that you have this website ….it’s nice to relate to other mom’s …God bless you and your family !!!

  • Lauren Camper

    I have two boys. One is 9 and the other is 4. When the 9 yeah old was a toddler he fell out in the middle of a dept store.
    He was on he floor kicking and screaming. I let him do it. He looked crazy. I walked away and pretended to ignore him but could see his every move. He got up and I got eye level with him and told him to never do that again. Now of course he had moments… And so does his younger brother. But I find that when I ignore the behavior in that moment (as long as they are not hurting themselves) they stop. When they are finished, they still don’t get their way and I address the behavior verbally as being wrong. It works for us!

  • Ki-ki HighlyFavoured Bartholom

    Hi Tam tam!!! I’m ki ki now I have 3 kids a six year old girl 4 year old boy and a 10 week old boy kree born on July 2 both boys born on that date. my girl is a sweet heart she I put on time out but not often. But my son! !! Jesus take the wheel! !! I’m still learning!!! Spankings don’t work, time out don’t work, I take him to the altar! !! Hopefully baby kree is calmer cause lord help us!! Love ya girl and The Real ladies!

  • Bonnie A. Jackson

    Establishing boundaries are vital & being cinsistant until their training is habital. This stage is rough but by age 3 they comprehend more & have more verbal skills to communicate what they want. Their just coming out of infancy where all their communication skills were met with just a cry. This transition is hard esp with a new baby that is totally reliant upon you for everything whereas Aden can do alittle for himself. Just know that across the pond Prince William & his wife Katherine are facing the same issues with Peince George who now also has alittle Sister Charlotte too! Welcome to parenthood – enjoy these years b/c they fly by in the blink of an eye.
    Also Aden is adorable & congrats on your new baby.
    Count to 10 & take deep breaths when things are hard & you’ve had one of those days!

  • Jasmine

    I bet you’re exhausted but try and sneak in some extra one-on-one time with him before miss Ariah wakes or when she’s napping. Once you get a routine down for her, that is if you haven’t already, you’ll be able to denote a specific bit of time to Aden: reading to him, eating breakfast together, playing or whatever you decide. I think it’ll give him something to look forward to, a bit of stability for him now that his sister is here and thus everything is inevitably changing; This too shall pass…you got this! x

  • Sarah Wagner

    That’s good parenting I work with kids at a daycare and see the rough end of the scale when parents don’t displine. Those kids turn into teenagers that don’t care or respect others. It’s a tough world out there and you can’t always get what you want. If your giving into those tantrums and giving them what they want it’s not beneficial for them later on. Besides at the time you may feel like there not loving you but when they come up to you and apologize and learn from it, it makes it all worth it in the end and they still love you.

  • Ina Turner

    O My Tamera,We have all been there or going thru now. You and Adam seem to be doing a great job,Tantrums and meltdown does come with growing, as long as we nip certain behavior in the bud, In our home crying is OK, we are talkers,so we usual go down to eye level make eye contact and ask what is the problem,if they are talking they have to stop crying, we find that also help them to become better at articulating how they are feeling, sometime we have to do time out,etc, But we NEVER reward or give in to bad behavior,such as Screaming,Falling Out or Throwing Thing,Never,Never,Never. That’s when Momma and Daddy slippers come out, lollollol,Thankful all three of our kiddos never needed the slippers more than once. If things seem to be getting out of control we mention the slippers or bring it out so they can see it. lollol. We love Raising Our Three Blessings, and trying very hard to raise them to make to positive change in this world.
    Blessings to You and Family.

  • Natasha Thornton

    My baby boy is 3 and his tantrums are worse now than at 2! I thought we had dodged the bullet lol. Usually my husband I will try to talk him through his emotions but when that fails, we take him to his room to let him “work it out” usually after a few minutes I go in his room and he calms down enough for us to talk about what happened and then move forward with the day. We do teach him to apologize for his behavior and if we get too upset with him, we apologize too. The biggest helper for us is for my husband and no I to stay on the same page as far and d’s when we discipline and what type of discipline we use for certain situations. Consistency is key!!!

  • Amberr J

    Hey Tamera! I love you and your sister so much! Im such fans! I am 21 so I have no kids but i have been working with them for a little over 2 years now. I follow some Montessori methods with children at my work. This means I get on their level when talking to them and when they seem to be having trouble controlling their bodies or their emotions i allow them to separate from the rest of the class and go give their body a “break” in a chair that is apart from the other children. I find that the problem always starts at home and for the children who are noticeable spoiled and overly catered to at home need more firm discipline methods. I NEVER yell but i do use a firm voice with children and sometimes of they are blatantly disrespecting me i will have to help them do what im asking. For instance if it’s time to clean up toys and the child doesn’t want to I’ll grab their hands and guide them to picking up the pieces. I guess I’m more hands on with children. I’ve never been spanked in my life but my mom was very firm with me and i plan on doing the same with my future kids. Although I believe spanking works for certain kids.

  • kamia wardlaw

    Can you tell us what you use tamera to make your curls look awesome and could you do a conference give away questions about you , to win a trip to Los Angeles or Come to Michigan , you can email me at KamiaWardlaw@ymail.com

  • Fqadir2

    As a mother to a 3 year old boy, if Ayaan cries, I just ignore him and walk away and let him figure his frustration out. At first it bothered me to use this way but it worked out well and once he was calm I would give him a hug and thank him for being calm.
    If a child is bothering or having a tantrum ignore, do not give attention to it and once the child is relaxed, talk to him and praise him for being good.