7 Clever Ways To Tame Toddler Tantrums

Toddler tantrums are tough to handle, especially when you are a tired and exhausted mommy, trying her best to stay calm, collected and sane. 


There are definitely some toddlers who are even-keeled when it comes to displaying emotions, but my kids are not those kids, and maybe yours aren’t either. 


The kicker is, not all approaches to tantrums will work for every child. Not only that… is that every solution I will present will also not work for every situation. So it is up to you to decide which solution fits your situation the best way. 


In this post, I will share with you 7 ways you can diffuse a toddler tantrum, and stay calm in the process too. 


handling toddler tantrums

Clever Ways To Tame Toddler Tantrums


  1. Remain Calm And Hug It Out
  2. Provide Time In Moment
  3. Speak Softly
  4. Give Space 
  5. Create Diversion
  6. Remove From Situation
  7. Laugh It Out If Appropriate 

Remain Calm And Hug It Out


One of my favorite ways to calm a tantrum is to remain calm and hug it out. If your child is out of control, screaming, crying and flopping around, a hug is a great way to try to control some of the angry energy and transfer your calm energy to them. 


Hugs are powerful and using them during difficult moments is part of the parenting job description. It helps everyone involved in the situation to get through the power struggles together. 


Hugging may be my favorite method, but it is not always effective. If your child is so upset they don’t want hugs from you, you should listen and provide the space they are asking for. 


Regardless of the situation, you can always provide a hug AFTER your child has calmed down from the tantrum.


There is true power in hugs. 


tame toddler tantrum with a hug

Provide A Time In Moment


If your child is asking for some space, a great solution for a tantrum calm down is a time in. 


Unlike a traditional time out where a child is sent to their room to calm down, a time in is when a child is invited to sit down near a parent and encouraged to discuss their feelings and thoughts. 


Toddlers have not yet developed the skills required to communicate these feelings, but they can still attempt to share with you what is going on. 


Sharing feelings is something that takes practice, and frankly, adults have trouble with this. Using the time in method, you can teach your child to express feelings properly from the start. 


Speak Softly


When your child is acting out and having a meltdown, the worst thing you can do is yell back. If you use a soft voice, your child will need to quiet down in order to hear you which is exactly what you want. 


When you use a soft voice, you provide comfort to your child and build trust with them. When you consciously decide to lower your voice and not yell at your child, you give yourself extra time to think about what you want to say. You can also have enough time to think about the consequences if they are needed and possibly consider the situation/ circumstance of the tantrum. 


Sometimes we don’t realize that we, the parents, are the cause of the tantrum, and if we realize early enough, we can apologize.


When we yell, our children tend to tune out what we have to say, so having a soft voice gives you the advantage of actually being listened to. Huge plus! 


One last reason you should speak softly during a tantrum is the fact that you are modeling the behavior you want them to have. You’re setting a good example in a real-life frustrating situation. 


tame toddler tantrums

Give Space


You might be thinking, giving space isn’t exactly a positive parenting approach to tantrums…but it is! 


You can give space and still pay attention to your child while they go through their storm of emotions. You can be RIGHT there with them, but not touching them. 


That kind of space is a kind way to be with your child, but not push any sort of conversation or physical contact. You’re telling them that they need to finish feeling their feelings and you respect their need for space. 


When their emotional storm is finished, you can give a good hug and talk about the situation. 

Create Diversion


This is an age-old approach. A diversion for your child so they can get distracted from the tantrum isn’t always a bad idea. If you can provide a positive distraction such as watching a friend have fun and encouraging your child to join them is really great. 


If you’re saying, “please stop crying, I’ll buy you ice cream” …well, not so great. The distraction shouldn’t seem like a reward for having a tantrum. 


You shouldn’t punish the tantrum, but you shouldn’t reward it either. A tantrum is a learning experience for all parties involved. 


Remove From Situation


If your child is having a tantrum in a situation you can remove them from, go ahead and do that. Sometimes simply removing the thing that made them agitated is a good plan. 


I understand toddlers don’t always make sense, so if a blue wall was the thing that made your little one cry for fifteen minutes, try to take them away from that wall. (yep, real-life example! I also have been known to peel bananas incorrectly). 


Removing your child from a situation can be a very simple way to calm them down, and you don’t have to yell or anything! Positive parenting for the win. 


tame toddler tantrum

Laugh It Out


If you are in a situation where it is appropriate to laugh to make your little one feel better, go ahead and do that! As long as the child isn’t being bullied or belittled, there should be no reason that laughter shouldn’t be able to solve a toddler storm. 


They do say that laughter is the best medicine, and I conquer! 


Toddler Tantrums And Positive Parenting 


Just remember that every parent deals with meltdowns from little people, usually in public and always at the wrong time. 


While it can be difficult and embarrassing to deal with, there are simple things you can do to help stop a tantrum in its tracks. Remember to Remain Calm And Hug It Out, Provide Time In Moment, Speak Softly, Give Space, Create Diversion, Remove From Situation and Laugh It Out If Appropriate. 


Happy Parenting!


Find the author of this post at Tired Mom Supermom.

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  1. Hope Ware

    February 10, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Great tips. One of the things I did when I had littles was to be sure that I got down on the child’s level. I think when we are standing up we forget that we are WAY above the child and that alone can be unsettling to a child who is having a hard time expressing emotions in a positive way. I would bend down and insure that I could make eye contact. Then, I would softly speak to them. Sometimes just the fact that I was speaking softly would calm them down.

    1. Katie

      February 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      This is such a great tip Hope. Thank you so much for sharing that. Being on there level really does make a huge difference.

    2. Elizabeth Nunes

      February 12, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      That is so important. Parents really do appear giant, and if voices are raised that makes it super scary for a small child. Scaring kids is not an effective way to get them to comply and calm down.

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