Dealing with a crying toddler can be difficult. If you’re a first-time parent, you may not know how to react. There can be several reasons for their outburst, and properly managing the situation is the key to helping them overcome the habit. Here’s child care guide to help you handle a toddler’s tantrum.
Understanding & Handling Crying Toddlers
Why Do Toddlers Cry?
Toddlers cry to express themselves. Understanding triggers will help you avoid these incidents. Fatigue, hunger, over stimulation and lack of ability to communicate are common factors. A busy shopping center or hectic home can trigger stress-related crying.
Your child may also want attention. It can be general attention, or to let you know they want something or aren’t happy with a demand or outcome. Learning this form of communication takes time, so pay attention to what’s happening around you or what you’re doing when your child starts to cry. Teach them simple sign language so they can tell you they are hungry, tired or need cuddling.
Should You Distract Them?
A distraction can seem like a quick fix, but it’s not a long-term child care solution. It keeps your toddler from understanding that their actions may be inappropriate. You’re missing an opportunity to teach them a lesson.
It’s important for them to learn to cope with unhappiness and dissatisfaction positively. Instead of turning on the TV or handing them something to occupy their emotions, stay calm and use the right words and attitude to help them through the situation.
What You Should or Shouldn’t Say
Many parents’ first words are “Stop crying.” In most cases, this doesn’t work because you’re telling your child to suppress their emotions rather than providing support. Yelling, using more aggressive language, and making threats are also counterproductive. Actionable responses will let your child know that you’re paying attention, accepting and understanding their distress, and want to help them. They’re an effective means of suggesting that your child changes their attitude and begins making a calm, positive move forward to find solutions.
For over 40 years, A Rising Star Children’s Center in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, has provided comprehensive child care services to families in the area. Their skilled team offers stimulating preschool programs, infant and toddler care, and before and after school programs. You can explore these options further on their website or by calling (914) 862-4283.