FAQ: toddler tantrums - what should i do?

For awhile, I have wanted to start posting some of my responses to frequently-asked parenting questions that come my way. Unfortunately, my schedule has not cooperated. Parenting advice is not something to be given in a hurry. And it's hard to give, because while every child is different, parents tend to look for a one-size-fits-all solution to solve their current problem. I should know - I certainly have.

So for my inaugural FAQ post, I'm going to allow a new blogging friend I have gotten to know to do some of the work for me. Her name is Emily Morrice, and she blogs at {our nest in the city} on a number of topics you might enjoy if you're a mom with energy, taste and creativity (or if, like me, you just wish you were). Emily has small children, and this summer she contacted me to ask for advice on how to handle tantrums. She posted my response on her blog, along with her own observations on what was effective for her child and what was not.

I applaud Emily for applying common sense and context to any parenting advice offered to her, and I urge you to do the same. With that in mind, if you're dealing with tantrums (and based on my inbox, MANY of you are :) ) I hope you find my comments and her responses helpful. You can read her post here:

{disarming toddler tantrums}

I would add one additional thought to what I shared with Emily: sometimes children throw fits because they sense that we have not been giving them our full attention. A fit is a quick and easy way to gain it. Sometimes fit-throwing can be diminished or prevented by deliberately finding regular times during the day when you can focus fully on the child in question. Having had four kids in four years, I know first-hand how hard it is to find time to fully focus on a two-year-old when you are also caring for a newborn. But a little face-time goes a long way and is worth the investment, even if it's just a quick moment to work a puzzle or read a book together.

If you find yourself losing your temper over your child's tantrums, you might also check out this post I wrote a few months back. Toddlers teach us to marvel at the patience of God toward His children, don't they? May your patience and consistency with your child be richly rewarded - keep your eyes on the long-term!