Toddlers want things their way right away. They also become more independent and want to do everything on their own. When things don’t turn out how they want, it can often lead to frustration. Toddler temper tantrums can turn into major meltdowns. Help your tot deal with his frustrations before the temper tantrums set in.
Think about your own life. When you’re tired or hungry you probably tend to be less patient when things don’t go your way. Your toddler may be better able to handle difficult situations when he feels rested and not hungry. You probably notice as nap time nears that he gets frustrated much faster than normal. Make sure he gets enough rest throughout the day.
Give It a Try
It’s faster and less messy to do jobs yourself around the house, but give your toddler a chance to try things on his own when he shows an interest. Not letting him try may cause him frustration. Set him up for success. If he wants to make his own sandwich, lay out all of the parts for him so he can just stack them together.
Toddlers sometimes go from fine to full-on temper tantrums, but other times you can see their frustration starting to grow. When you notice him getting frustrated, see if you can help dispel the frustration. Taking over completely probably won’t help. Instead, see if you can help him out just enough so he can be successful on his own with the task he’s trying to do.
Frustration can also happen when you enforce too many restrictions or try to force your toddler to do something he doesn’t want to do. You shouldn’t let him have his way all the time, but some issues are so small that it’s okay. For example, if he wants to pick out his own outfit that doesn’t match, it’s not going to hurt anything to let him wear it. If it saves you a battle trying to get him to wear something else, you’ve both avoided a frustrating encounter.
Your own reaction to frustrating situations can affect how your tot reacts. If you get frustrated easily, he learns to do the same. In situations where he is frustrated, reacting with frustration will likely escalate the situation. As difficult as it can be, take some deep breaths and keep your frustration under control when your tot starts to lose it.