Toddler Tantrums: 3 Powerful Secrets for Calming Big Emotions

how to handle toddler tantrums in public

Toddlers are awesome little humans with an enthusiasm for life that is contagious. They explore the world and experiment with everything in their surroundings. In this phase of life, little ones are testing everything, including their relationships limits and boundaries. With all of this excitement, often comes exuberant emotions. This is why the toddler years are branded with nicknames such as the “terrible two’s.”  Parents dealing with toddler tantrums will find powerful secrets for calming big emotions here.

Toddler Tantrums

Toddler tantrums take on all kinds of shapes and sizes. Parents of toddlers know all too well that the rationale (or lack thereof) fueling a tantrum can be caused by catastrophic events like not getting a specific color cup, the wrong food placement on their plate, or having to wear clothes in public. These colossal meltdowns are unpleasant for parents and children. Big emotions are exerted and are typically accompanied by yelling, crying, or some kind of physical outburst. These toddler tantrums can be both frustrating and embarrassing for parents. Thankfully, there are powerful secrets for calming big emotions.

Powerful Secrets for Calming Toddler Tantrums

1. Be consistent

The first secret for calming toddler tantrums is to be consistent. This sounds so simple, and yet it can be incredibly challenging. If parents can master this tool alone, they will increase their parenting success tremendously. As a parent, if you say something to your child, mean it. Many times parents use threats or bribes to get their children to do what they want. Instead, parents can be effective in taming toddler tantrums by being consistent. If your child knows that every time you say you will do something, you follow through, then you will not need to use threats.

2. Pick Your Battles

If your child is having a tantrum but is safe, take a moment to inventory the situation. Is this a behavior they do repeatedly or is it a one-time thing? Are there other factors influencing the child’s behavior? Is he/she acting out because he/she is hungry, tired, hurt, etc? After you quickly survey the situation, decide if this is a “battle” or a situation you want to address. If it isn’t, you can try to distract the child, ignore the behavior, or de-escalate the situation. If it is a situation you want to address, remember to be consistent. Say what you mean and do what you say.

3. Plan Ahead

Think about your child’s day. If you know you will be entering into a situation that is typically difficult for your child, plan ahead. Think of ways you help your child to be successful in that situation. Examples of tantrum inducing situations can include: missing a nap, long appointments, special events, or places that are not child-friendly. Brainstorm ways you can help to create a successful experience for your child, when you know they might face a difficult situation. This will decrease the number of tantrums that could occur.

Parenting Resources for Calming Toddler Tantrums

There are four more powerful tools for calming toddler tantrums in the FREE email Tantrum Challenge. This FREE email course includes:

  • 7 Powerful Tools for Taming Toddler Tantrums
  • Access to the Parenting Resources Freebies Vault
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This free email challenge is the perfect solution for parents who are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from taming toddler tantrums. Click here to enroll.

P.S. If you enjoyed this piece you may also like Positive Ways to Redirect Your Misbehaving Toddler.

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16 comments

  1. Totally agree! Consistency and planning ahead are key. But my toddler still keeps me on my toes with her moods and tantrums despite my best efforts. I can anticipate much better though and try to plan for tricky situations.
    • Yes, despite the best planning it takes several "tools" to tame toddler tantrums. Thank you for sharing!
  2. Yep, all great tips! I wish I would've learned the consistency thing with my first two kids...finally got it with my 3rd and 4th tho! ;)
    • Thank you, Harmony. Yes, consistency sounds easy, but I would say it just might be the hardest tool for parents. Best wishes.
  3. Those are good tips. My daughter is just getting into the tantrum phase. Consistency is key with her!
    • Being consistent is hard to do because some days it's just easier to give in. I totally get it. Thanks for your comment. :)
  4. I found it's very hard to save a toddler from tantrums, you have be calm, and patient enough. Think about why your baby is in the big emotion, and then try to meet him if possible or move him to another thing he is interested.

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