Does Ignoring Tantrums Work? A Guide for Parents of Toddlers

does ignoring tantrums work

It can be difficult to know how best to handle tantrums. Parents often wonder if ignoring them is an effective strategy or not, and this question deserves a closer look. Does ignoring tantrums work?

There are different approaches that parents can take when their children have temper outbursts, and understanding the pros and cons of each method is important for finding what works best in any given situation.

In this blog post, we will explore how does ignoring tantrums work and whether it is effective to simply let a toddler’s meltdown pass.

We’ll also provide alternative strategies that may help reduce these episodes in the future.

Table of Contents

Understanding Tantrums

What is a tantrum?

A tantrum is an emotional outburst that typically occurs in young children when they are frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed. It can involve crying, screaming, stomping of feet, and throwing objects. Tantrums usually last for a few minutes but can sometimes go on for longer periods of time.

Why do toddlers have tantrums?

Tantrums are common among toddlers because they lack the ability to express their emotions in more appropriate ways. They may be trying to communicate something but don’t know how to do it effectively yet.

Additionally, toddlers often feel powerless due to their limited autonomy and this can lead them to act out in frustration or anger as a way of asserting control over their environment.

How to recognize a tantrum

It is important for parents and caregivers to be able to recognize when a child is having a tantrum so that they can respond appropriately and help the child manage their emotions better.

Signs of an impending tantrum include rapid breathing, red face/ears/neck area, clenched fists or jaw muscles, increased heart rate, or sweating palms.

Once the outburst has begun there will likely be loud cries accompanied by physical movements such as stomping feet or hitting objects with hands/fists.

It is important to understand the causes and signs of tantrums in order to help your child manage their emotions better. Ignoring tantrums can be a useful tool when used correctly, so let’s look at how it works.

Does Ignoring Tantrums Work?

Ignoring tantrums is a common parenting technique used to help toddlers learn how to manage their emotions. It can be an effective way of teaching children that they cannot always get what they want and must learn to control their behavior.

However, it is important for parents to understand when ignoring a tantrum is appropriate and how best to do so in order to ensure the safety of both the child and those around them.

When Should You Ignore A Tantrum?

Ignoring a tantrum should only be done if the child’s behavior does not pose any immediate danger or risk of harm. If the child is throwing objects, hitting others, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors, then this should not be ignored as it could result in injury or damage. In these cases, redirecting attention away from the situation may be more appropriate than ignoring it.

When deciding whether or not to ignore a tantrum, consider your own emotional state first. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your toddler’s behavior, take some time for yourself to remain calm. Once you have taken care of yourself emotionally, try speaking calmly but firmly with your toddler about why their behavior is not acceptable and explain that they need to stop.

If necessary, remove yourself from the room until your toddler has calmed down sufficiently before returning back. Continue the conversation once things have settled down. This will show them that while you are still present and attentive towards them but also demonstrate that certain behaviors will not be tolerated without consequences.

Ignoring tantrums can be a useful tool for managing difficult behaviors in toddlers, but it’s important to know when and how to use it effectively.

Are there any alternatives to handling toddler tantrums?

does ignoring tantrums work


Alternatives to Ignoring Tantrums

It is important to understand that ignoring a tantrum isn’t the only way to handle these difficult situations. There are other strategies you can use in combination with ignoring a tantrum for maximum effectiveness.

Redirecting the child’s attention is one such strategy. When your toddler starts having a tantrum, try redirecting their attention by engaging them in an activity or conversation about something else. This will help distract them from whatever was causing the outburst and give you both time to cool down before addressing it again.

For example, if your toddler is throwing a fit because they don’t want to put on their shoes, try asking them what color shirt they would like to wear instead of arguing over putting on shoes.

Distracting the child with an activity can also be helpful when dealing with tantrums.

If your toddler is getting worked up over something, offer them another activity that might interest them more. It could be anything from playing with toys or coloring pictures, as long as it gets their mind off of what was making them upset. This gives you both some breathing room until things calm down enough to continue the discussion.

It is important to remember that there are alternatives to ignoring tantrums. With the right strategies, parents can help their children learn how to cope with strong emotions and develop healthier coping skills. Next, we will look at how to deal with difficult situations when they arise.

Key Takeaway: Ignoring tantrums is not the only way to handle difficult situations. Other strategies such as redirecting attention and distracting with activity can help reduce stress levels and provide a better opportunity for problem-solving later on.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

Setting boundaries and limits is an important part of parenting. It helps toddlers understand what behavior is acceptable, and it can also help prevent tantrums from occurring in the first place.

When setting boundaries, be sure to explain why they are necessary. For example, “we don’t throw toys because it could hurt someone” or “we don’t hit people because it isn’t nice”. Be consistent with your expectations so that your toddler knows what to expect each time a certain situation arises.

Staying calm during a tantrum can be difficult for any parent or caregiver, but it is essential for managing the situation effectively. Take deep breaths if you need to and remind yourself that this too shall pass.

If possible, remove yourself from the situation until you have calmed down enough to address the issue. This will show your toddler that their emotions do not control you and give them space to work through their own feelings without being overwhelmed by yours.

If despite all of your best efforts, tantrums still occur frequently or become increasingly more intense over time, consider seeking professional help from a therapist who specializes in working with young children and families.

A therapist can provide strategies for dealing with difficult situations while helping parents/caregivers and toddlers learn how to better express themselves in healthy ways when emotions run high.


Does ignoring tantrums work?

Ignoring tantrums may work for some parents, but there are other alternatives such as distraction or redirecting the child’s attention that could also be effective. Ultimately, each parent must decide what works best for their family when dealing with difficult situations involving their toddler’s behavior.

Parenting is a difficult job and one of the most common challenges parents face with their toddlers is tantrums. Ignoring these behaviors can be hard, but it’s important to find ways that work for you and your family.

The Puppy Dogs & Ice Cream project offers resources designed specifically for parents who want to learn how best to handle tantrums in an effective way while also teaching positive behavior skills. Don’t let tantrum struggles take away from time spent enjoying life as a family – join us today and start discovering solutions!


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