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Stages of a Toddler Tantrum

The 5 Stages of the Toddler Tantrum

Your toddler is adorable as pie until suddenly, he's face down kicking and screaming in the middle of Victoria's Secret (yeah, whose idea was it to bring him? Well, you really needed to use that sweet coupon...) and making a whole big scene.

What did you do that was so offensive to said toddler? Oh, say the word "No."

Telling a toddler no is a guaranteed way to earn yourself one big fat tantrum, but hey, that's just all part of development, right mom?

Before you send your toddler packing to a sweatshop to make overpriced toys or sweatshirts, you should buck up mom, and simply learn and understand the delicate process of the toddler temper tantrum.

Stage 1: This Isn't Going to Go My Way, Is It?

This is right when your toddler realizes that mom is about to say no or do something said toddler doesn't want her to do. It's when your toddler understands that she's not going to get her way. It's when your toddler starts to turn red, get fidgety or simply, start to raise the volume of her cry or of her voice. This stage always happens in public. Toddlers love the build up simply because they're processing the event and in public, they're less apt to go straight to tantrum mode, unless severely tired. So it's more like a teapot: your toddler starts to steam and then suddenly, the whistle blows!

Stage 2: It's ON!

This is when the dramatics ramp up. Your toddler will most likely do one of a few things:

  • Throw something delicate that will break OR throw something that will make a loud noise. It helps your toddler feel in control.
  • Fling their body into a T-shape, like they are about to go on the cross. Once this happens, the kicking begins.
  • Hit you. You are most certainly getting a slap, kick, or head butt. Oh they love their head butting, don't they? Moms should consider buying helmets for ages two and three, I believe. After four, you can return the helmet unless you have another two or three year old to deal with.

Stage 3: Everyone Will Hear Me Cry

It's not enough for you to hear your little one cry. Nope, the whole block all the way across the ocean to China needs to hear your toddler's wails. If they don't, your toddler won't feel justified. The loud cries justify the intense pain your toddler feels upon hearing no or having his way thwarted.

Stage 4: The Silent Treatment

Well, you've done it now Mom. You went and said no, and now your toddler has officially hit you, threw something, and wailed so loud, you wonder if he lost his voice. To up the ante, now he's going to stomp his feet and refuse to talk or debate with you. There is no chance in H-E- double hockey sticks, that your child will give up the silent treatment until...

Stage 5: The Hug Me Mommy Moment

He or she realizes that now it's time to get a hug from Mommy. Who can resist? Now that your child is over it all, and only caused severe damage to your head or leg, (head butt or kick, it all depends) it's time to get back on mom's good side again. Besides, she is the holder of the beloved cookies and ice cream, is she not?

Survival skills, toddler style: make sure the one with the sweets forgives you.

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