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5 Steps to Follow When Your Toddler Screams “I Hate You!”

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5 Steps to Follow When Your Toddler Screams “I Hate You!”

Words can’t begin to describe how awkward it feels to hear a child say “I Hate You!” Especially when these words come from a toddler who doesn’t know any better. When kids start going through their terrible-twos, they become capable of extreme outbursts when they’re irritated. But no matter how they behave, it’s important not to lose your cool as a parent. Child Psychologist Lauren M. O’Donnell explains that, “Tantrums are a normal part of child development. They’re how young children show that they’re upset or frustrated… Tantrums are common during the second year of life, when language skills are starting to develop. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.” Here are a few tips on the proper way to deal with tantrums:

STEP 1 – Don’t Overreact:

               Seeing or receiving anger from a child is certainly hurtful.  But it’s also going to make things worse if you respond with the same type of hostility.  Instead of allowing the aggression to snowball, pause, activate restraint, and position yourself to deescalate the confrontation.

STEP 2 – Analyze the Situation:

               Even though it’s easy to dismiss anger which comes from a child, anger isn’t an emotion which spontaneously flares up out of thin air.  The child could be hungry, traumatized, bored, afraid and so on.  Before writing their agitation off, identify the cause of the tantrum first, and then brainstorm on a proportionate response.

STEP 3 – Address Their Needs:

               When parents encounter tantrums, their biggest desire is to bring said tantrums to an end.  No matter what it takes.  Unfortunately, this usually translates into repeated scolding.  Instead of resorting to shouting matches though, try catering to the circumstances which provoked to the tantrum.  Reason with the child so that they can stop being volatile.

STEP 4 – Calm Them Down:

               After the tantrum has subsided, use therapeutic measures to calm down your child.  Distract them with their favorite TV show, let them blow off some steam with playtime, or even feed them a little snack.  Calming down your child sets the stage for you to have a longer follow-up discussion about their previous tantrums.

STEP 5 – Discourage Combativeness:

               Children shouldn’t be allowed to use inflammatory language without understanding its impact.  It’s up to you to decide how to frame the lesson, but you should definitely make it clear that hateful speech is inappropriate.  Even if they might forget this message in the blink of an eye, teach it to them anyways.  Eventually it will take root as a subliminal idea, and they’ll find less argumentative ways to express their anger.


It’s perfectly reasonable for new parents to expect that things will go well as they raise their kids. But the reality is that parenting comes with a lot of curve-balls. Especially during moments of friction. When kids get upset, never allow yourself to take things too personally. Defusing the situation with mature composure is your best bet at making it through heated encounters. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative courses, workshops and events listed on our websites and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Academy can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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