How to Cope with Toddler Tantrums with Bryana Kappa
Bryana Kappa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Redondo Beach, CA.
She’s endorsed as an Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist by the California Center for Early Childhood Mental Health.
Bryana also owns and operates South Bay Mommy and Me, a center for moms and babies from birth-24 months.
Her mission is two-fold:
First, she aims to support healthy, happy families by caring for the nuances and complexities of the child-parent relationship in its most vulnerable and impressionable stage.
And secondly, she seeks to help mothers connect with each other in an intentional, meaningful way as they navigate together the joys and challenges of raising children.
Bryana is also the wife to Matt and mother of a darling toddler son, Matteo.
What We Cover
- Why tantrums happen and what we can do about them.
- Tools to minimize and manage tantrums.
- How to raise children you like.
Take a Listen >>
- Tantrums are inevitable and developmentally normal and appropriate.
- It is how we respond to the tantrums that will help minimize and manage how ugly they can get.
- Planting the seed with parents to respond to big emotions as early as possible will help alleviate some of that teenage angst that occurs later in life.
- Tantrums are a healthy way children assert their will.
- When kids throw a tantrum, they are trying to grab some power in the family hierarchy.
- The human brain doesn’t fully develop until we are 30 years old.
- 90% of the brain develops by the age of 5.
- That is why children have a hard time. They are trying to process big feelings without the tools and understanding of why they are feeling what they are feeling. It’s our jobs to help them navigate through those emotions.
- When we acknowledge their emotions and recognize their needs, it creates a bond with the child. This child can then trust their parents with their feelings. They feel understood.
- If children can learn to self-regulate at an early age, they will be better equipped to coping with other people’s emotions as they get older.
How to Manage a Tantrum
- Try to find some meaning in the tantrum. Why are they hitting? Understand why it is happening.
- Connect before you correct. If you do not connect beforehand, that causes shame.
- The foundation of connection is physical and emotional safety. If the child is hitting, redirect them to hit a pillow or something soft, so they (and who they are hitting) are safe. If you are not emotionally safe to handle a tantrum, put the child (or children) in a safe space, and move yourself to a safe space so you can process your emotions to feel safe enough to engage in handling the tantrum.
- Have the courage to make mistakes and learn from them. Children are great examples of making mistakes and moving on.
- Show them the behavior you want to see, rather than telling them. Your child sees the world through how you handle situations. Take responsibility for your part of the relationship.
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