Having a toddler in your house can be a very stressful time for parent and child alike. It seems like anything can set your little one off and all the screaming can pick away at your patience, which makes it easy for you to yell back. At some point, your toddler will throw objects, either as part of a game or as part of a tantrum, but no matter what the cause, these tips will come in handy to help stop your toddler from throwing things.
Toddler throwing toys
If your child is used to you picking up their toys when they are thrown, you will notice that they giggle as you valiantly return the lost toy to them. At my house this game was called pick up, but to some parents, this game gets some not very nice names. If you have an older child that is willing to play this game with your toddler, it will probably go on for quite a long time, but at some point it will have to stop. The easiest way to do this is to pick up the toy, firmly tell your toddler that you are not returning it, and keep the toy. If you are consistent and make sure they understand why you are taking the toy away, you should be able to avoid too big of a temper tantrum, but be prepared for one anyway.
Toddler throwing things when angry
If you notice that your child throws toys at the beginning of a temper tantrum, see it as a great way to realize that your child is cranky. If it is close to a meal, snack, nap, or bedtime, you may want to give them something to eat, or let them just rest (watch TV, cuddle with you, or maybe even take their nap twenty minutes early).
Some children only throw things when they are in the middle of a full blown tantrum that is its own problem all together. Even though you might not want to, the best thing you can do is ignore it, just make sure that your breakables are out of reach. Many toddlers will throw a tantrum for the attention and giving it to them will generally add to the problem. Ignore them, let them calm down and deal with the problem when they are in a better mood.
Handling toddler tantrums
Catching the tantrum before it escalates to the point where your toddler is throwing things is a good way to prevent it from happening. If you notice that your toddler is getting upset, try to talk to them and find out what the problem is. With small children, you may have to play detective a little bit while they give you clues and you have to figure them out or teach them simple sign language so they can talk to you. With older toddlers, it will help if you just come down to their level and calmly ask them what is wrong. If you can stop the tantrum before it starts, your child will learn to calm down and tell you what they need before they get upset.
While seeing your toddler throw toys can be frustrating and scary, you need to take control of the situation. Take the toy away, put your toddler in a safe place to vent their anger, or just let them work out their anger on their own, but make sure that they know that throwing things is not all right. Once they have calmed down, you can discipline them. A time out, a short talk, and/or loss of the toy are a good way to show that their behaviour is not acceptable.
If you get mad, you will have to take your own time out before dealing with an upset child. Do not leave the room, this can make your toddler feel like you are leaving them and make their tantrum even worse. Let them know that you need to calm down, turn around, and count or breath until you feel like you can handle the problem. Showing your child how you handle yourself when you get mad can give them an example for when they get mad. When a parent gets mad, yells, screams, and maybe even throws things, this shows the child that it is all right. Even if you don’t think your children see or hear you doing it, don’t do it.
While this information might be helpful, if you are worried about your child’s behaviour, talk to their doctor. You might find out that there is nothing to worry about, or you might find out that more help may be needed.