I’m a parenting expert – how to deal with toddler tantrums and keep it cool like Kate Middleton with Prince Louis

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CHEEKY Prince Louis was caught on camera misbehaving at the finale of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, poking his tongue out at mum Kate.

It’s certainly not uncommon for kids to throw a wobbly, and it can be hard for parents to know how best to diffuse the situation without any further drama — especially in public.

Prince Louis was caught on camera misbehaving at the finale of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Here, Kirsty Ketley, of Auntie K’s Childcare and Consultancy Service, and Tanith Carey, author of What’s My Child Thinking? Practical Child Psychology For Modern Parents with Dr Angharad Rudkin, share their top tips for dealing with toddler tantrums.

Walk away and count to ten

Kirsty says: “It’s very easy to get embarrassed and worry about what those around you are thinking.

“But if you lose it, no one is in control. You are the grown-up so you need to keep control.

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“Take a deep breath and count to ten if you need to.

“If there is another adult present and the child is safe, there is no shame in walking away if you need to. Take a minute, count to ten, then go back.”

Turn quizmaster

Tanith says: “If you see the signs your child is heading for a tantrum, asking them questions (‘How many green things in the room can you see?’) may help head it off — as long as you catch it in the nick of time.

“When a child loses control of their emotions, they are using their limbic system — the primal, emotional part of their brain.

Tanith says: ‘When a child loses control of their emotions, they are using their limbic system — the primal, emotional part of their brain’

“Asking them to search for answers will direct their attention outside themselves and help them switch back to using the more rational prefrontal cortex, the more sophisticated part of the brain, which they are still developing.”

Hug it out

Kirsty says: “Offer a cuddle.

“This is one of the easiest ways to get a child to calm down as they feel safe and secure when they are sat having a cuddle.

“Not all children will want a hug while in the throes of anger, but as they are calming down ask, ‘Would you like a cuddle?’.

“Make sure they know you are there to give them a cuddle when they are ready.”

Pretend to have a tantrum

Tanith says: “What I like about this idea is that if you can use humour, it means you are likely to be in a calmer place yourself.

“This is because the most helpful thing you can do when your child is having a meltdown is NOT to have a real one yourself, which would be like throwing oil on a fire.

Tanith says: ‘A tantrum is a sign that your child is feeling overwhelmed’

“A tantrum is a sign that your child is feeling overwhelmed — and losing control is a stressful experience for them.

“Laughter and playfulness will help you both because it will release feel-good endorphins into your bodies — and you will be in a better position to help return them to a place of calm.”

Turn on the telly

Kirsty says: “There are books and TV shows such as Love Monster on CBeebies that teach children about emotions.

“These are really good for helping them to understand their own emotions and teaching them how to express themselves in a calmer way.”

Know it’s a passing storm

Tanith says: “While a tantrum is under way, another option is to concentrate on calming yourself. That way you will be in a much better position to soothe your child too.

“Take some deep breaths and view it as like a cloud flying overhead. It will soon pass.

“Remember too that a child doesn’t enjoy having a tantrum. What they want most is to feel safe and back in control.

“With your help and time, these outbursts should usually get less and less.”

Find a distraction

Kirsty says: “Sometimes it is possible to distract a toddler just before they go into full meltdown by diverting their eyes and minds elsewhere.

“If you have something in your bag, you can get it out and show them.

Kirsty says: ‘Sometimes it is possible to distract a toddler just before they go into full meltdown’

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“For some children, it works to sing quietly to them.

“Or maybe you can direct them to something you see out of the window — ‘Look a cat!’ — or on a supermarket shelf.”