tantrumsMost of us have had terrible two year olds on our hands at some point haven’t we-please tell me you can relate-that loss of control, the irritation, embarrassment and frankly, downright fatigue of dealing with a 2 going on 12 year old ‘twonager’!

Yes we all know this stubbornness and quest for independence is formative, normal behaviour especially as 2 year olds can’t yet reason, but it doesn’t make it any less tough when you’re in the midst of it all, does it?

Fear not, sharing is caring right,  I’ve been there, the people who’ve contributed to this psot, have been there and we can help/wallow in one another’s frustration together.

Here are some tips and simple reminders to help keep us all sane. OK, nearly sane.

I’m sharing a few of my own tips and tricks along with wise words from other parent bloggers and a child expert too, especially for you.

The advice will hopefully take the edge off the terrible two’s and those epic tantrums-oh and the good news, these times don’t last forever, I mean soon your 2 year old will reach the ‘threenage’ years and beyond. You might want to bookmark this post!

Firstly, let’s kick off with Rachel Waddilove, Childcare expert and author/ blogger of Rachel’s Babies, for her advice.

1. Try and ensure your toddler is sleeping well – tired toddlers, like us, are generally grumpy. 

2. Try to make sure your toddler eats well and regularly if you can. Keeping blood sugar stables mean moods are more manageable.

3. Try to avert the tantrum when you see it coming -it is easier to do this with younger toddlers. Distraction is key.

4. Try reward charts with older toddlers for good behaviour can often work well.

5. Sometimes a good cuddle will work wonders – especially if your little one is upset.

Louis of Dawn of the Dad imparts these wise words:

The best way to deal with a tantrum is to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. When my son starts to push, or hit out, or bite, I tell him his actions ‘make daddy sad’

I drive home the message that we only use ‘kind hands’, or that ‘teeth are not for biting’, and then I quickly change the activity and/or location.

At one stage in his development, in conjunction with his nursery, we used a push pillow to reinforce the message of ‘kind hands’, and ‘Teeth Are Not For Biting’ by Elizabeth Verdick.

Michelle, The Joy Chaser

Sing ALL the time! Seriously though I find singing is a great distraction and engages another side of their brain in a tantrum situation – if nothing else it makes them stop for a moment and then you can distract them with something else!

Teentweentoddler.com advises, ‘Simply distract them, stay calm and be consistent!’

Katy of What Katy Said:

‘Whatever is closest to you (as a tantrum can occur anywhere) but try not to use sweets etc. Something fun and exciting, even if it’s made up. For example if it’s a tantrum in a store, say “I just saw something amazing flying in the sky outside, let’s take a look” and stay calm by telling yourself that it will be far worse if you get angry. If you’re in a safe place, then walk away for a few minutes x

Best thing for us has been giving options. Both of which are favourable to you but let the toddler feel as though they are in control of the situation. Knowing their triggers is important too and so distracting them before they explode is key! Also, something I have learned recently is acknowledging their feelings outloud – I know you are feeling tired but there is not much further to walk’.

Emma, The Cheshire Wife

We completely missed the terrible 2’s but the threenage year has been twice as tough – anyone fancy adopting lol only kidding. Sleep as much as you can – ooo and I recommend preschool / nursery.

Ali, Mum in a Nutshell says:

Try & nip tantrums in the bud with distraction. If they do have a melt down its the adults role to give them a cuddle & some time in afterwards. It’s not giving in or spoiling them. Tantrums are a the loss of emotion control & can be frightening for them.

Their emotional brain is still developing & they need you to restore balance. You can chat about what they should’ve done during time in, no later as they’ll have forgotten what it was they’ve done. It’s a tough age for toddlers & parents but also lovely seeing their personalities shine. It’s actually my favourite time (phew had my professional hat on their, back to normal now!)

Renée of Mummy Tries: Calm calm calm… also give them choices but not too many so they get overwhelmed. Let them lead the way more… oh and did I mention staying cool-as-a-cucumber?

Emily of Twin Mummy and DaddyDistraction! Averting attention! It seems to help us!

Katie of A Mother Thing

My middle son is just going through it now. It’s awful. What works for us is a kind of distraction. I take him away from the situation, hold him close (without constricting him too much) and get him to take a deep breath and smile. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but he now understands how to calm himself down by breathing and smiling. We also use a trick from the show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and sing a little song. “When you feel so mad that you want to ROAR, take a deep breath and count to FOUR. 1…2…3…4. Works wonders!

Heena of Mummy’s Bubble We have achieved the “going to calm down” room… works wonders compared to the naughty step. Baby Z even does it herself when she has had too much of crying and us ignoring her tantrum. 

I recently wrote a blog post on tantrums with toddlers as my girl turned two in December. http://mummysbubble.com/2015/01/toddler-tantrums/ 

Fiona, Free Range Chick:

Stay calm. Whatever you do, stay calm. They can sense stress better than police dogs, and will rise to it the second they see they’re getting a rise from you. Always try to find alternatives to things they shouldn’t be doing. Instead of saying ‘no’ all the time, try, ‘how about we find a better thing to do with that (frying pan, PS2 controller, stanley knife). Make sure they sleep! Tired kids are impossible. And make sure they’re well-fed. Hungry kids are also impossible. 

Candace of Us Three By The Sea I was very very lucky with both mine. Neither of them went through the terrible twos. If hit them both at about 5 and DD at 11 is still going through it! Think every child is different even siblings. Best thing I found was consistency & try to stay calm yourself. It’s just a case of sitting it out.

Chelsea of The Hazel Key

Patience is a virtue. When you feel like giving in take a breath, regain some composure and face it head on.

They will eventually stop the noise.

Also time out in a bedroom or something can help no end. Sometimes it can take 30 minutes or so but she will eventually calm down and play nice.

Kiran of Mummy Says

Dealing with tantrums can be really stressful, so try and make sure that you have coping mechanisms for yourself. This could be taking yourself away from your toddler for a few minutes so you can stay calm. Or it could be knowing you are going to get an hour to yourself in the evening to really take some time out. Looking after yourself will help you deal with the stress, and the calmer you are, the calmer your toddler will be. 

Alyssa of Mum to a Monster

If you find the tension getting worse go out for a walk . It helps clear your head and often distracts toddler.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any more advice you want to add in the comments, thanks!


Buy my bestselling book in paperback or audio

Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home

Available on Amazon or Audible

MUMBOSS by Vicki Psarias

Like what you've read? Then why not follow Vicki on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram

Never Miss A Post!

Subscribe to HonestMum for my weekly email newsletter where I share my new blog posts, blogging tips, event invitations, competitions and news about my new book. I never share your personal data with third parties.

34 Responses

  1. Rachel

    This is such a wonderful collection of great advice! I do find that in the early stages of a grump sunflower responds well to a cuddle. However a tiredness induced tantrum is a whole different matter and it doesn’t seem to respond to any of the usual distractions… Removal to a calm situation is the only thing that really helps.

  2. Susan Mann

    Great tips, thanks for sharing. Mine would be ignore and hope they stop x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Mother – What being a Mother – The Gallery 221My Profile

  3. Mirka Moore @Kahanka @Fitness4Mamas

    Fabulous collection of so many great tips, hope to try them out on Olivia as she has been going through the terrible twos lately!
    Mirka Moore @Kahanka @Fitness4Mamas recently posted…PG tips Raising Funds for #RedNosedayMy Profile

  4. Emz

    Great advice & titbits here plus brilliant pic of your kiddo having a right good sulk! xx #brilliantblogposts
    Emz recently posted…Don’t sweat the small stuffMy Profile

  5. Jane

    Of course they’re always easier to cope with at home. I used to quite like my ‘rest in your room’ toddler tantrum tactic (by my third child). Shut the door, walk away and all going well it blows over by the time you’ve made a cup of tea and raided your choccy biccy stash.Good luck mummys!
    Jane recently posted…Pop Goes the WeaselMy Profile

  6. Everything Mummy

    I can definitely relate, I often have two tantrums going at the same time my best tip is sometimes just not rise to it and stay strong if theyre having a tantrum because they want something they can’t have if you give in you’ll pay for it forever, its a phase it passes i take a breath and try to remember that – hard at times! x
    Everything Mummy recently posted…Growing Strawberries!My Profile

  7. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    Ah great advice, I am going to book mark this for when Boo gets a bit older, she hasn’t had any tantrums yet, but she is only 15 months, sometimes when she gets frustrated she puts her hands on her head walks away and does a little roar, so I don’t think it’s going to be long.
    Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops recently posted…Liar Liar Pants on Fire…My Profile

  8. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    Stellar advice there. Now, to follow my own wise words… I forgot to mention that loads of exercise ensures that they burn off a lot of their anger and frustrations. We’ve been doing two trips a day to the playground, and it does seem to help.

    Thanks so much for including me in this post, Vicki! Some great advice there for anyone on the brink of losing it, or for newbie parents to toddlers. Thanks for taking the time to put it together xx
    Fiona @ Free Range Chick recently posted…Rubbernecking: Just Stop ItMy Profile

    • honestmum

      Oh yes good tip, helps mine to sleep better too. Ooh like that, will be following suit. Thanks so much for your fab advice x

  9. Jemma Taylor-Smith

    Fab post! My twins are going through the tantrum stage at the minute. It helps to keep calm and try and see the funny side. I often video my two when they’re having a tantrum. Can’t wait to show them when they’re older!
    Jemma x

  10. Eimear

    Great post – we find that offering our daughter choices and the opportunity to develop her own independence is key to us avoiding tantrums. Figuring out how she responds to our behavior when she does get upset was important too, hugs and counting to ten and asking her to explain why she is upset really works well and all in all we have not really had any trouble with the terrible two’s thank god. She’s 3 on Wednesday but already she’s well and truly a threeanger!

    • honestmum

      Thanks, sounds like she’s really responding to your techniques. Every child is different and like us they have bad days, are tired, hungry, ill and it’s about meeting those needs but also knowing sometimes, nothing works and they need to get it all out before they can relax again.

  11. Dawn of the Dad

    Great post, and great tips, from great bloggers!

    Thanks again Vicki for including this humble little writer. I will be posting about tantrums later this week.

    Until then have a good one.

  12. Ali

    really interesting to hear what everyone else thinks. Thanks for linking back to my site x
    Ali recently posted…What WILL you do? An Online will service reviewMy Profile

  13. Sharon powell

    Thank you for including my tips! Great post and here’s hoping it helps others x
    Sharon powell recently posted…Silent Sunday My Profile

  14. Renee @ Mummy Tries

    Thanks so much for including me hon. Some fabulous tips here, I’ll definitely be coming back when my boy enters this dreaded phase xxx
    Renee @ Mummy Tries recently posted…Thankful for my friends on International Women’s DayMy Profile

  15. Heena

    Heya hun, thank you so much for linking my blog post to your post, Very much appreciated.

    I’m loving the ideas everyone is giving, it really is one of the hardest times so far especially if it hasn’t been experienced before. x

  16. Katy {What Katy Said}

    Thank you for including my advice, options always work well for us so hopefully others will find it useful too. Great advice on here from everyone xx
    Katy {What Katy Said} recently posted…Creating a Flawless BaseMy Profile


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.