Dealing with tantrums is not easy–you have to calm your child down while trying to keep yourself composed at the same time (you’ve probably heard of the term “terrible twos”). From whining and screaming to kicking and hitting (Yikes!)—things can get downright ugly. Need help pacifying your child? Here are a few tips you can use the next time you’re about to say “No.”

Stay calm
Before scolding your kid (for an emotion he can’t control just yet), stay calm and composed–getting into an argument with your toddler might just make things worse.

Let your child release his anger

A tantrum may last for about 30 seconds to two minutes and within that time period, you should let your kid release his anger or frustration. “Sometimes a kid just needs to get his anger out. So let him!” says Linda Pearson, a nurse practitioner and author of The Discipline Miracle.

Create a diversion
When your little tot is already in the middle of a big tantrum, try offering him some toys or cookies to catch his attention–kids have short attention spans and are easier to reroute. Also, being hungry can trigger a tantrum; he may just need a little nourishment.

Hug them
It may seem like the last thing you would like to do when your child is throwing a full-blown tantrum, but hugging can actually help him settle down. It’s also a way to make him feel secure–just make sure the hug is firm and reassuring.

Take your child outside
An easy tip: When you feel a tantrum coming on, go someplace else. “If your child starts melting down over a toy or candy bar he wants, pick him up and take him either to a different area of the store or outside until he calms down. Changing the venue really can change the behavior,” says Ray Levy, PhD, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and co-author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation

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Photo: Flickr (Angelina Koh)

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