Tantrum Tribes
Mother & Baby India|January 2022
A tantrum can push you to the limit, but deciphering your toddler’s temper type will help you diffuse the situation and restore calm
Marie-claire Dorking

THE DRAMA QUEEN

There are times when you can see where your toddler’s coming from—she wants to watch another Octonauts rather than going to bed? Yep, that’s how we feel about True Detective. But empathy only stretches so far. When she’s annoyed with her Cheerios because they have holes in them, it’s hard to take her seriously. The Drama Queen doesn’t let the reality of life get in the way of a good wobbly.

MOST LIKELY TO… Fling herself to the pavement, arms and legs flailing, while you explain patiently that, no, she can’t walk in the road.

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON… It can feel like there’s neither rhyme nor reason to your child’s tantrums, but in her world it does make sense. “A toddler doesn’t yet have the skills to rationalise and work out what is and isn’t possible,” says parenting specialist Jane Evans. “Her wobble doesn’t come from naughtiness, just not understanding why she can’t do something.”

FIX IT… Allow her to calm down safely. “Sit close, letting her feel you’re near, but allow enough space to feel she has room to wind down,” says psychologist Emma Kenny. Calmly explain why the thing she has asked for is impossible, then offer an attractive alternative.

THE THROWER

Instead of voicing frustration, The Thrower prefers a more physical form of expression. From the lasagne that she’s just discovered contains spinach, to the entire contents of the toy box she doesn’t want to tidy, if there’s anything near her mid-meltdown, it’s likely to be hurled.

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