10 tips for coping with tantrums in toddlers

They might be little, but toddlers sure can have some big, teenage-style strops. Luckily, these fellow parents & influencers have some great advice for dealing with toddler tantrums



“My little girl used to have terrible tantrums whenever I tried to brush her teeth. So I make a game of it and let her brush my teeth while I brush hers. I end up with toothpaste all over my face, but at least I manage to get hers done properly!”

- Gillian McCallum Muir, mum to Rae, 2

“If you're out in public when they have a tantrum it can feel like the whole world is watching you. Pick your child up and remove them from the situation, even if that just means taking them to the toilet. The change of scene will help them – and you! – to calm down.”

- Jude Peppis, mum to TJ, 3

“Ask your child a totally unrelated question in the middle of a tantrum to distract them. For example, ‘When we went to the zoo, can you remember the name of that rhino you saw roll in the mud?’ It works a treat with my boys!”

- Helen Kerray, mum to Wilfie, 4, and Bernie, 3. @babylovedfamily

“We can’t control our little humans so I tend to get down to my son’s level, make eye contact and try and talk it out or hug it out. And of course sometimes they just need to have that meltdown to let all that energy out!”

- Tom Cox, dad to Kai, 5. @unlikelydad

“If my kids throw a strop at the park or the beach I warn them that if they carry on we will leave. And we always do if it continues. It’s important to make sure you follow through with your threats. Although sometimes all my youngest needs is a cuddle and a nap!”

- Assuntina Fogarty, mum to Khillian, 5 and Lorenzo, 2. @assuntinafogarty

“If Freddie is having a full-on wobbler, I find distracting him by offering him a snack or singing his favourite songs usually works. And the singing actually helps me to calm down, too!”

- Sarah Falzon, mum to Freddie, 16 months

“Try to stay as calm as possible. If I get stressed when my toddler is having a tantrum it just fuels the situation. So I offer hugs and try not to get flustered if we’re in public. Nearly everyone will have been in the same situation at some point and they will totally understand!”

- Lyndsay Gardner, mum to Violet, 2 and Pearl, 1. @fizzypeaches

“Elijah wants to do everything himself, which can lead to tantrums when he’s not allowed to. The only thing that works is completely ignoring him when the whining starts and then only acknowledging him again when the tantrum stops. It’s really hard to do, but it does work!”

- Gabriel Sey, dad to Elijah, 3. @gabriel_sey

“My best tip mid-tantrum is to ask them to pretend to blow a giant bubble. It distracts them, makes them laugh and helps to calm their breathing down.”

- Jade Lloyd, mum to Leo, 8, and Norah, 18 months. @theparentingjungle

“The only thing that works for me is to quickly copy them and start fake crying! It makes them laugh and usually stops the tantrum in its tracks.”

- Sarah Skellern, mum to Toby, 6, and Gabriel, 3. @tobygoesbananas