10 Tips for Handling Tantrums on Vacation


During: Read Minds

Make some suggestions. Your young child may just be frustrated she doesn't have the words to say what's on her mind.
Make some suggestions. Your young child may just be frustrated she doesn't have the words to say what's on her mind.
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As if parenting weren't enough of a circus, in addition to the balancing, juggling, clowning and poop clean-up, mom and dad may be able to shorten a tantrum with a little mind reading.

Most toddlers know, at most, a few dozen words, and forming complete sentences with those words is a struggle. This can make it hard to convey what they want, need or think, which can lead to a frustration-induced tantrum.

Everyone wants to be understood. So take a moment, block out the noise (and the dirty looks from other people on the tour bus), and think: What might the child need or want? Have you missed a snack time? Did she see a toy shop on the way to the bus? Could she be tired? Might her diaper have become uncomfortable? While the fit might not be about that particular need, the inability to communicate it may have set the stage for a blow-out, and solving that communication problem could help end it.

Even if you don't go back to the toy store, just acknowledging the desire, and putting words to it, could help ease the frustration and lead to a calmer state.

Up next: When the mind of a toddler can work in your favor…

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