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How to Stop Toddler Tantrums

If you’re the parent of a toddler, you know how quickly things can go from great to screaming-fit-crazy.  At their age, toddlers aren’t fully capable of regulating their emotions, so something as simple as cutting their toast the wrong way is enough to send them into overdrive.  Here are some things to try to stop toddler tantrums.

The main goal is to reset, redirect, and distract.  Follow me here…

Get Outside

This is a good one even if you’re in public.  Getting outside and enjoying some fresh air is almost always a good reset for us.  Even if it’s freezing cold, step outside for a few minutes and point out things to look at.  Play a quick game.  Find 3-5 objects outside.  A truck, a garbage can, a flower…  Things your little one can easily point out on their own.  Mention a few times that after you find a couple more things, you get to go back inside!  This is exciting!  We get to play this finding object game and then go back in and finish our grocery shopping game… or whatever it is.

Here are some of our favorite outdoor toys to play with when we just need a break:

At this age, our kids sometimes believe us but they’re starting to pick up on our plot to manipulate them with the threat of fun just to get things done.  Enjoy it while it lasts because it won’t be long before they can see through us completely!  🙂

Go for a Drive

Especially if the issue is that your little one is refusing to nap, a drive works almost every time.  Our kids have always hated their car seats, but when they’re tired, they literally can’t fight it.  Before we reach the end of our road, they’re asleep.  I hope your car has the same magical powers that ours does.

Even if the goal isn’t a nap, car rides can sometimes be a great distraction.  Right now, our 2 year old is in love with firetrucks.  If he’s in a bad mood, I’ll take a drive past the nearest fire station.  Seeing those big red trucks inside the building gets him giddy every time.

Just Add Water

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that for about the last year, we’ve been traveling a ton for my husband’s job.  This means a LOT of time spent in hotel rooms.  When we’re traveling and a toddler temper tantrum breaks out, I throw both kids in the bathtub.  Water and a couple of hotel room cups to fill up and dump out save my sanity every time.

If we’re at home, I shut out the lights in the bathroom and give them glow sticks.  Trust me when I tell you that no toddler can be mad when he’s sitting in a bathtub full of bubbles and glow sticks!

A more permanent solution is this awesome and cheap water table.  It should keep your kids busy AND save your sanity.

TV Time

I know a lot of parents these days are against screen time and I totally respect if you are one of them.  We’re not, and I hope you can respect my opinion on this too.  I’m just saying that if a movie helps everyone keep their sanity and the alternative is a screaming fit, which are you going to pick?  I’d pick cuddles and a movie any day!  🙂

These days, we hand our kids these tablets and let them play ABC Mouse for a little while.  It’s fun, educational, and offering them these tablets stops a tantrum in it’s tracks.

Ignore and Distract

When absolutely nothing else will get our two-year old to stop misbehaving, I’ll start ignoring him…and then I’ll go play with his toys.  Or I’ll get out some bubbles and mind my own business sitting there blowing them.  When he’s distracted doing naughty things, I get distracted doing fun things that he’s actually allowed to do.

Keep Your Cool

Remember, no matter how crazy your toddlers get, there needs to be an adult in this situation.  Be that.  Your kids feed off of your emotions and if you are high-stress, they’ll react to that.  I have to remind myself of this many times when our toddler goes out of his way to push his little brother over or to purposely destroy something for the millionth time today.  This parenting journey is a bumpy one, but it’s worth it!


When your little ones start to lose it, what helps you regain control?  Are there any activities that work for you all the time that I haven’t listed here?  Let me know in the comments!


how to stop toddler tantrums, dealing with toddler tantrums

Tracy Lynn

Friday 26th of May 2017

Hi, Jamie! I just loved reading this. Your glow sticks and bubbles tip are genius. What a fun mommy you are!

You are completely right, our kids DO feed off of our emotions so being the adult in the moment is so important. Not only does it help to calm the situation but it also leads by example. By keeping your cool you are in turn teaching your little ones how to cope with high stress. :) Well done!

Tracy Lynn


Friday 26th of May 2017

Thanks Tracy! We love finding new bath ideas because I feel like you can't go wrong. Both kids love bath time equally and I love the sanity it gives me haha. I can't tell you how much time I've spent sitting on a toilet lid in random hotel rooms just watching them splash around ????

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