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How to stop a toddler tantrum? You don’t.

But there are a few ways to help them ride it out + cope next time.

How to stop a toddler tantrum? You don’t.

My babies are two years and 10 months now. And, in the past couple of weeks, I have noticed an increase in their unreasonableness. Not that toddlers should be reasonable. Not at all.


But, lately, what I understood from their behavior is this: Their souls are growing much faster than their brains.

Here is how dialogue is sometimes carried out over breakfast:

Mother: “Hey, would you like to have some yogurt?”

Child: “NO.”

Mother: “OK.”

Child: “I want yogurttttttttt!!!!” Followed by at least 10 minutes crying.

Mother: “OK. Here it is.”

Child: “NOOOOOO!!!” Another 10 minutes of crying.

I’m still confused whether they want or don’t want the yogurt.

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This has been happening several times in a day and the focus of frustration changes from food choices, to clothing options, available toys, sibling behavior, the temperature of drinks or bath water, choices of bedtime stories or the number of cuddles they receive.

And because they are two, they take turns in their rage. Sometimes, they do it together. Either way, these are loud days around the house.

I think that definitions are important, especially when dealing with such a massive issue... So what is a tantrum? As explained for adults, a tantrum is an unreasonable and apparently irrational reaction. It is blowing things out of proportion.

It is emotion driving the car, while reason, common sense and thinking are all locked up in the trunk.

There is only one way we can stop it: allow it to finish.

But before we go into any of that, know this:

1. This tantrum that your child is experiencing has nothing to do with you.

2. This tantrum is not an indicator that you are failing at parenting.

3. This tantrum is something that nature gave to kids so they can cruise their emotions. They naturally know how to do it: create a story that allows unloading emotions. There is no more to it than this.

4. This tantrum is a volcano. It is stronger than the mountain. And the lava must come out. The more you try to delay or stop it, the stronger it will be when it comes out.

You see, you have a good child. He or she is not doing this to hurt your feelings. It is just that they have big emotions inside their little chests and need to create a story so they can let these big feelings out.

So they will pick up a fight, disagree or be unreasonable so they can have a good enough reason to unload.

And if you pay attention to it, once they’re done with it, they can think better, behave better and overall be a little bit more pleasant to be around.

And listen, you are a good mom! Really! You worry about your child, and you want to see them happy.

This is just not one of those instances when you can make them happy.

Here is what you shouldn’t do to stop a tantrum:

1. Don’t try to give them some thing to soothe

Be it food, TV, screen time or fulfilling unreasonable demands. This will only numb their emotions and not solve the issue.

It’s okay—even good!— to soothe your child with your patience, presence and compassion. “I know honey, breakfast can be hard.” But it’s counter-productive to try to give in to irrational demands—at least all the time.

They don’t cry because of the yogurt. They cry because they are little children learning to deal with their emotions.

2. Don’t try to control its magnitude or length

If you’re in a public space and your child’s tantrum is disturbing other people, or worse, if you feel judged, leave. Pick them up, sometimes over your shoulder and go for a drive or go back home. Offer them the courtesy to finish what they started.

3. Don’t draw your worth from this event

You are a good mom who allows her child to feel all of her feelings, big and small. Their tears don’t make you a bad mom. Their rage doesn’t speak to your purpose in their life. Stand strong in your integrity, knowing that you are doing the right thing. You are not neglecting their needs by allowing them to cry.

You know exactly how this is going. We also have days of tenderheartedness, when we carry a massive stone over our souls, or when we lose our patience quickly. It can be when we lash out at our partner or colleague. None of this will disappear until you unload it. That is usually with a big cry. It is cleansing and resetting for our entire system.

Don’t rob your child of the opportunity to clean their soul pipes and clear and reboot it. Even when it needs to happen 20 times today. Tomorrow will be better. Or in retrospect, at least yesterday was better. It will all pass.

You’re a good mom!

Repeat this mantra to yourself. See your best friend and cry. Get a pedicure. Or a massage. Attend to yourself, so you have the resources to be open to see your child without any judgment or expectations.

You’ve got this!

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Every parent can relate to these funny tweets about the presidential debate

If you've refereed siblings you can relate to Chris Wallace.

Wendi Aarons/Screenshot

The first presidential debate was painful to watch for many reasons. The sitting president of the United States failed to condemn white supremacy when asked, and while both President Trump and Joe Biden spoke nearly constantly, they didn't say much of value.

It was disappointing for stressed parents who would have rather heard more about policy and the future of America instead of watching two men interrupt and insult each other.

The candidates spent a significant amount of time talking over each other, asking the other to shut up and deflecting questions from moderator Chris Wallace, whose position was instantly relatable to any parent who has had to ask their children to stop squabbling at the dinner table.

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These viral tweets sum up the debate perfectly:

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