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Understanding your toddler's mood swings and how to deal with it?

Toddlers may be quick to laugh, and then moments later break into an angry fit. Despite your numerous attempts at calming them, things can go south very quickly. Such outbursts are completely natural and it doesn’t mean that your parenting styles are unsuccessful or that you have a disobedient child. Parents need to understand that tantrums are just one of their many ways to get what they want and if you give in to it, you’ll teach your kid that this is a reasonable way to behave.

There are certain common behaviors that can be associated with their mood swings such as hitting, biting, crying, or screaming. Other factors that can play a role are parenting approaches, the environment, or family dynamics.

Sadly, there isn’t a single approach that works for all, it is a trial and error process. One will have to try different things and see what works and what doesn’t. Here are some suggestions

- The first thing to do is to stay calm, overreacting when your child is throwing tantrums will only make them validate their behavior. The best thing a parent can do is not react immediately. Arguing with a toddler can be futile. It is important to teach one’s child that there are non- harmful and healthy ways by which he/she can express their feelings.

- Toddlers are known to face difficulty while controlling their emotions. They don’t have reasoning skills or logic to surpass their outburst. As a parent, you can label various emotions for them. For example, one could say, ‘ I understand that you are having fun playing with your toys and you don’t want to leave them. That might make you upset.’ Labeling emotions will only help them perceive the situation better.

- Toddlers face problems with transitioning from one task to another and it takes a lot of mental and physical energy to adapt to the changing world. Parents can make them aware of how one action follows the next. The transition can be eased with the help of warnings that are made beforehand. For example, ‘ now we are going to collect all your toys and keep them in one place and then we will have lunch .’

- Many times toddlers get hungry and act irritable, so it’s always beneficial to have or carry healthy portable snacks. They act as a quick energy booster and you won’t have to worry about them making a fuss.

All these practices are a way to perceive the way your toddlers communicate their needs and want. After some attempt, your child will gradually learn that throwing tantrums won’t get him/her what they want. There is no correct answer to what will work for your children. But the above-mentioned ways can go a long way in creating a positive association while dealing with how to express their emotions and help you and your child lead healthier lives!

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