Thursday, December 9, 2010

How do I deal with toddler tantrums?

Ms. Dorothy -
_________ is almost 2 years old now. When we play and it is time to clean up, he gets mad and starts trying to hit people and throws things and screams. What can we do?
- Aunt, Babysitter, Student

He is so lucky to have you playing with him and engaging him in games and activities! Everything you learn while you study early childhood development will help you enrich his life even more.

One of the hardest things for a toddler to deal with is the fact that his mind is much more sophisticated than his ability to communicate.
When a child doesn't have the words to express how he is feeling and what he wants, it is not unusual that he will throw a tantrum.

Something that might help is to make sure there are lots of cues about coming transitions. Have a signal to tell him that clean up time is coming, and make sure he understands that when ____ happens, it will be time to clean up. Negotiate it with him well in advance, and then be very, very consistent about following through.

With time and experience he will come to rely on that consistency, and may even use your signal to let you know when he wants to be done with an activity.

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