Parenting is not easy. It can be difficult—although rewarding—on many levels. One of the ways in which parenting could be considered a difficulty is when your toddler has an aggressive temper tantrum.  Aggressive temper tantrums can be hard to deal with, especially in public. Here are a few ways in which you can calm your toddler:

  • Remove them from the immediate situation. If a child is overreacting about something in the present situation, the tantrum likely will only get worse if they stay there. Take your child aside somewhere, and hold their hands firmly but gently if they are still attempting to hit you.
  • Remind your child, firmly but lovingly: “In this family, hitting is not okay.” Then, proceed to calmly ask your child what is bothering them.
  • Remember your child is a human being, and all human’s express emotions differently. If your child is under the age of three, they likely do not have the necessary language skills yet to express exactly what is bothering them. One tool available to them is aggression, and they will use it just as any adult would use a coping mechanism.
  • Act, don’t react. If you start to act proactively, you can create other coping mechanisms for your child. You can teach them breathing exercises, where they breathe out all the “bad things” they are feeling. You can come up with a code word or phrase when your child starts to feel out of control, such as “I’m seeing red” or “I’m Hot.” You could teach your child other ways of channeling their aggression, such as having a “punching pillow” or something else to take aggression out on.

If your child is under three and still has tantrums, don’t worry. They will likely grow out of this stage in their own time. However, multiple daily tantrums do require professional health, and parents should seek out a Mental Health Provider trained to work with young children.