How To Deal With Tantrums? Understanding EDM May Help.

How To Deal With Tantrums? Understanding EDM May Help.

Is there anything more embarrassing than your child throwing a tantrum in the middle of an otherwise quiet café? How should parent deal with this?

Is there anything more embarrassing than your child throwing an ear-shattering tantrum in the middle of an otherwise quiet café? If you’ve not been subjected to this yet, then you’ll definitely have witnessed it. This is a perfectly natural part of a child learning to regulate their emotions, all be it, in a very public arena! I’m hoping that this blog post will help you to understand what to expect from your child as they are developing their emotional skills, reassure you that what you’re experiencing happens to everyone and give you some tips about how to support your child and tackle those dreaded tantrums.

How To Deal With Tantrums Means Understanding That Every Child Develops At A Different Pace

Check out this link to see typical Emotional Development Milestones (EDM): Emotional Development Milestones. Remember again, that every child develops at a different pace and that your child may develop these skills at a different rate to the ‘typical’ child development model. If you are concerned that your child is not developing at a pace similar to that in the link, you can always speak to your childcare provider or GP for further support.

I think it’s important to give you some ideas about what you could be doing to help support your child’s emotional development at different ages. Here you go:

Birth to 11 Months:

  • Cuddle your baby.
  • Respond to their cries and babbles in a supportive, comforting way.
  • Hold your baby close while feeding.
  • Consistency is key – however you choose to comfort your baby make sure that you are consistent.
  • Name feelings when talking with your child. “Look how happy you are!” When they’re smiling etc.
8 to 20 Months:

  • Set fair and consistent rules. Say ‘no’ in a calm, quiet voice.
  • Maintain your routines so your child knows what to expect.
  • Encourage your child to try new things and be curious.
16 – 36 Months:

  • Be calm and comforting after tantrums or outbursts.
  • Keep up with that consistency. Reliable rules will make your life so much easier.
  • Keep using feeling words when talking to your child. Help them to recognise how they feel.
30-50 Months:

  • Help your child to share and play with others. Model good sharing and turn-taking! Board games work fabulously for this.
  • Show them that they can trust the special adults around them.
  • Help them to show their feelings in more appropriate ways. Model to them what to do if you’re upset or angry.
40+ Months:

  • Pay attention when your child is speaking to you. Show them you value what they say.
  • Say positive things to your child – tell them how clever they are, how hard they are trying, how kind they are etc.
  • Be consistent… again! Just keep doing this!
  • Answer all their questions. Yes, I know there are SO many questions!
  • Keep modelling the behaviour you want your child to show.

Helpful Hints

A Quick Note About Dealing With Tantrums… Especially Public Ones!

Make sure you bend down to be at your child’s level when you are speaking to them. Can you imagine how daunting it would be to have a full-sized human towering over you if you’re only small?

Use a calm and level voice, no matter how much you are screaming on the inside. I know this is easier said than done, but if your volume increases then so will your little angel’s and nobody needs that!

Compromise is key! Make them feel as though they have ‘won’ by giving them two options. One would be an undesirable option to them and the other would be the option you want them to choose.

If all of the above fail… wait it out. I know this isn’t ideal, but they will run out of steam eventually.

Finally, comfort them when the tantrum is finished. They are clearly struggling with how they are feeling at that time and need your support.

The Golden Rules On Dealing With Tantrums

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you have found it helpful and informative. Please know that other people are going through the exact same thing as you are. I want to leave you with my two main tips.

  1. Set consistent rules and stick to them.
  2. Model the behaviour you want your child to show.

If you follow these two rules, you can’t be going far wrong.

Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series, where I’ll be talking about Language Rich Environments.

Read the other blogs in this series:

  • How Do I Help My Child Develop Social Skills? – Here.
  • Language-Rich Environments – Here.
  • How Can I Help My Child’s Physical Development? – Here.

Rich Environments For Language & Literacy Development

Rich Environments For Language & Literacy Development

Learn how to create a language rich environment and support your child’s language and literacy development.

What Is A Language Rich Environment Anyway?

The first thing you must be thinking is: what the heck is a ‘Language Rich Environment’? Well, you’re in for a real treat with this blog because I love talking about this! Language Rich Environments are simply surroundings that help children to develop their language and literacy skills. See, I told you it was simple! Creating a space that enables your child to develop these skills is essential to their learning later in life. Think about it… language is the basis for everything we do! Even mathematics is often based on language, meaning that if a child does not have a good grasp on language, it can affect them all throughout school and the rest of their lives.

Encourage Language And Literacy Development

Now, when I talk about the ‘environment’, I don’t necessarily mean the physical environment. If you have a quick look at this document (Parent’s Guide), you’ll be able to see the milestones for Language and Literacy development down the right hand side. A ‘Language Rich Environment’ is everything, from the books you read with your child, the conversations you have, the opportunities for them to see the written word in real life etc. Below are some pointers on how best to encourage language development: 

  1. Above all else, the main thing I want you to get from this article is for you to be positive and praise every language attempt from your child, even if it’s not quite right.
  2. Don’t be afraid to speak to them like you would another adult, that’s how they learn the basic rules of grammar. What I mean by this, is don’t baby-down what you’re saying. They don’t need to know all about what your friend Karen’s been up to with her new boy-toy!
  3. Don’t ask too many questions. This is a trap lots of people fall into. If you want to, or need to ask them a question, give them plenty of time to process what you’ve said before repeating or rephrasing. A side note, if you do need to repeat a question, try to use the same words as before, otherwise it can become quite confusing for young children. 

Language And Literacy Development Can Be Fun

Now for the fun part! Here’s a few ideas to get you started with fun language activities and games you can do:

For Babies

Play Peek-a-Boo, sing songs and rhymes, tell me what you’re doing as you’re doing it, chat with me (copying my sounds), read books to me and let me explore them.

For Toddlers

Share stories with me, sing songs with me, help me make actions to songs and rhymes, tell me the names of things as I’m exploring, let me hold books, talk to me about the illustrations, give me chunky writing tools to explore, talk to me about sounds you can hear, explore animal sounds, play games with instructions, let me help you with the shopping eg ‘Help me find the carrots’, give me simple options e.g. ‘Apple or pear?’

For Younger Children

Encourage me to talk about books, let me mark make with different objects (Pinterest ‘Mark Making’ for loads of ideas), play with puppets or toy people, tell me step by step what we’re doing, use lots of new words, play listening games eg Simon Says, or Ready Steady Go, make up silly sentences where all the words start with the same sound, talk to me about places we’ve been and things we’ve done, give me simple instructions eg ‘Put your shoes in the basket’

For Children Approaching School Age

Play treasure hunts, when reading stories to me ask me open questions e.g. ‘What do you think will happen next? Why did that happen?” play rhyming games, play I Spy, put on puppet shows, give instructions using letter sounds e.g. ‘Can you j-u-m-p?’, make number plates for my cars with me, make a pretend shop with me.


As you can see there are so many things you can do to encourage language and literacy development. I bet you’re doing loads of these already and you didn’t even realise! I bet you can think of heaps more too. 

A Love For Books Is Important

The last thought I want to leave you with is that books can change children’s lives. Encouraging a love of books will help your child’s development more than you ever thought possible. Do your best to make them fun and exciting, even if you’re not a reader yourself. Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you’ve learnt what a ‘Language Rich Environment’ is and how it can help your child. The next post will be about Early Physical Development.

Should I Be Concerned About My Child’s Development?

Should I Be Concerned About My Child’s Development?

Learn what to do if you are concerned about your child’s development, including milestones your child should achieve.

This a question that gets asked a lot in childcare circles.  It’s human nature to be concerned about whether your child is developing at the correct pace. I hope that this article will clear up some anxieties for you and help you to understand what steps you can take if you need to.

Should You Really Be Concerned About Your Child’s Development?

The first thing that you need to know if you are concerned about youy child’s development is that children all develop at different rates and in their own time. Comparing your child to your friend’s child is never a good idea, as young children are so unique. I will include some links to useful guides and websites throughout this blog post so that you can see roughly what your child should be doing and when.

The first useful document is a Parent’s Guide to The Early Years, published by 4Children. Clicking on the following link will open up this document: Parent’s Guide. It is a supporting document to the curriculum used in childcare settings for children under five years of age. It shows milestones that your child might reach by a certain age. Notice I said, ‘might’. This is not exact. The reason I love this document and recommend that people use it, is because it suggests what you, as a parent, can be doing to help your child. We’ve all felt the anxiety of not knowing what to do for the best, well this document breaks it down for you. 

Three Areas Of Development

Early Years Education now focuses primarily on three areas of development: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. These are the areas I encourage you to focus on with your children.  Once they are confident in these areas the other stuff tends to fall into place. Use tips from the previous document if you need ideas on activities. Search websites such as Pinterest, these are brilliant for giving you ideas to encourage your child’s development. Although you may find, like me, you can spend hours scrolling and pinning and have far too many things you want to try and not enough time to do them!

If Your Concerns About Your Child’s Development Seem To Be Correct?

If you notice that your child is falling significantly behind in one, or more of these areas then it’s time to speak to your childcare provider or General Practitioner. Usually, if your child is in an Early Years setting, then the staff would have picked up on any concerns or learning delay before this point. I would always suggest that speaking to the staff is the first point of call. If your child is not in a childcare setting, or you don’t feel you’re getting the right support from them… it’s time to go to your GP. The NHS has some fabulous information on their website about reaching out to them if you think your child may have some additional needs. Check out this link to learn more: NHS Family Support

From this point, one of two things could happen. One, your GP might reassure you that everything is normal and to give it some more time. Sometimes it just takes some children a bit longer to develop than others. Or two, your GP might want to run further tests to see if there’s something more going on. This is a link to what would happen next: NHS Diagnosis of Additional Needs.If you are worried about a specific additional need such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, then mention this to your doctor or childcare provider. Usually a diagnosis for something like this would not happen until your child is older than five; as a lot of the traits of these conditions are typical for young children.

What Happens When Your Concerns About Your Child’s Development Are Confirmed?

Obviously, there is such a broad spectrum of additional needs ranging from extremely mild to profound and multiple needs. A diagnosis will help your child get the support they need throughout education. A diagnosis is not a bad thing! It enables your child to gain the right level of care and often enables your child’s school to get funding to better help them. What happens next would depend upon the diagnosis. Usually you would be referred to services that can support your child.  You could possibly be given activities to practise at home or sometimes medication might be given (this is typically a last resort).

Top Tips

  1. If you’re worried, speak to your childcare provider or your doctor. No matter how trivial you think it might be, they’re there to help support you and your child.
  2. Read the Parent’s Guide, linked above, and use it to plan exciting learning experiences for your child!
  3. Join a parent’s group or play group. Often talking to other parents can put your mind at ease.
  4. Try to ignore ‘perfect parents’, you know exactly which ones I mean. From working in schools for many years, I can tell you that their lives are often not as perfect as they seem.
  5. Focus on you and your child.  Remember that every child is unique, and this is something to be celebrated!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.

For additional information on the topic, please see the links above or speak to a professional.

How Do I Help My Child Develop Social Skills?

How Do I Help My Child Develop Social Skills?

Learn how to encourage your child’s social skills development. Helping you understand what they are and what you can do to support your child

Let’s face it, we all want our children to be hitting those developmental milestones. We want to be sure they are doing as well as they possibly can and that we are doing everything to help them get there. So what can you do to encourage your child to reach those developmental milestones for social skills? This article will hopefully set your mind at ease about how to do this successfully. This blog post is the first in a series of four about child development of key life skills.

The Complex World Of Social Interactions 

Now, I want to start by thinking about how many different things happen in a social interaction between adults. Cast your mind to the last conversation you had with your partner, or friend, someone close to you. How did you know they were interested in what you were saying? Could you tell what their emotions were from the conversation? Did you say something to them that you wouldn’t have said to someone else? Obviously, there are some things you wouldn’t dare tell your mother for example but can tell your best friend.

The aim of that exercise was to make you think about how many different aspects to social skills there are and it’s an awful lot for children to learn. Social skills cover everything from basic manners, to not turning your back on someone and walking away whilst they are speaking. So, how do you teach your little darlings that it’s not okay to talk about what mummy looks like naked at the top of their voice whilst you’re out on a shopping trip to Tesco, for example? Below are some tips and tricks about how best to combat these, potentially awkward, moments.

Start With Your Expectations If You Want To Help Develop Your Child’s Social Skills

Firstly, be realistic in your expectations. A one year old will not play co-operative games with two other children, but you would expect them to give you eye contact or laugh in response to play. Check out these links for a quick peek at what you should be expecting and with regards to social skills: Social Skills Check List and What To Expect When. Understanding developmental milestones might help reduce frustration for both you and your child. They will also be a guiding light in case you are worried your child is falling behind.

Activity Ideas To Help Your Child Develop Their Social Skills

Sometimes all we as parents need is some practical ideas on what to do with your child at different ages. So here are some activity ideas to spark your imagination.

Birth to 11 Months:
  • Encourage your little one to copy movements you make with your face. Open and shut your mouth or eyes. You might think you look really silly, but they will love this game!
  • Give them a toy to hold or sing to them while you’re changing their nappy.
  • Tickle their feet.
  • Let them hear your voice if they  are feeling grumpy or sad. This will help them to self-regulate.
8 to 20 Months:
  • Show them photos of people who are special to them. Talk to them about them and why they are special.
  • Show them what they look like in a mirror. Point to all the different parts of their face and tell them what they’re called.
  • Give them their special comforter or toy when they are feeling sad. These object will not cause them to be dependants on them, but instead will help them feel safe and help with future social and emotional development.
16 – 26 Months:
  • Play copying games with them. For example, when they bang their drumstick, you do it too.
  • Show them photos and videos of themselves doing things and talk about them.
  • Use their dolls to show them how to look after a baby or use their car to go on a small journey. Use your imagination and tell them what you’re doing.
  • Help them to share food and drinks between different people.
22-36 Months:
  • Make dens out of blankets and let them and their friends play in them.
  • Offer them a small variety of materials, such as glue and pens, and let them be creative with these tools.
  • Talk to them about the order they should do things like “First we will brush your teeth, then, wash your face.”
30 – 50 Months:
  • Encourage them to do some junk modelling with cardboard boxes and plastic bottles.
  • Let them help you match your socks together.
  • Encourage them to play dress up and role-play by offering them a variety of fabrics, hats or handbags with some pegs. You will be surprised what your small inventor comes up with.
  • Explain to them that they cannot do inappropriate things like run around the supermarket or scream at the top of my voice and tell them why. 
40-60 Months:
  • Ask them questions about different things when they are out and about.
  • Let them tell you how they can help when you’re doing something.
  • Tell them about how to keep safe such as holding scissors or crossing the road.

Be A Role Model To Help Your Child Develop Social Skills

Finally, allow your child to ask questions, even if they get a little much after a while. Take them out into the big wide world as much as possible. These experiences are going to teach them about real life interactions. The last, and possibly most important thing you can do, is to model the behaviour you want them to see. Your child isn’t going to grow up to be polite and kind if you don’t show them how to be. Social skills are complex and will take years to master, but you’re probably doing a lot of this stuff anyway. Stay tuned for the next in the series – “How Do I Encourage My Child’s Emotional Development?“.