Baby Hints & Tips

Tame your toddler’s tantrums with heart hugs

Being a parent is hard, sure we love it but damn, it can be really hard. Particularly when you’re child is in the middle of a code red temper tantrum. 

You know, when they’re crying hysterically, screaming, kicking and just unable to be reasoned with. Chances are you’re probably on the verge of tears too. We’ve all been there. 

Sydney mum of two, Lydia Gonzalez has come up with a quick, easy and free strategy to tame your toddler’s tantrums before they escalate to exorcist level.

toddler tantrum heart hugs

She calls them ‘heart hugs’, and she has been using her technique to help her four-year-old son Jackson.

‘I realised my son would work himself up, especially when tired and just couldn’t calm himself down. We would try going for a walk or doing some exercise to get all his energy out, but more often it would just transition into misbehaving and just a big tantrum when inevitably he didn’t get his way!’ she says.

Like all parents, she tried it all – time out, losing privileges to screen time, even yelling but nothing worked. This is when she tried a completely different approach, one that came natural for both mum and son.

‘I know he loves hugs, especially since his sister arrived! But a hug wouldn’t last long and I needed a way to keep him there until he calmed down.’

‘After listening to his heart racing while getting a quick hug I just asked him to listen to mine and how slow it is. He was intrigued and stopped crying immediately to try and hear it,’ Lydia says.

toddler tantrum strategy

After sharing on a mum’s group on Facebook she has received hundreds of comments from mums praising her technique and sharing their own experiences with the heart hug.

‘This has helped so much, I feel like a better mum and try to come at any tough situations from a position of love rather than frustration. The heart hug is as much for me as it is for him.’

Lydia’s wonderful approach to parenting can be found at Parenting Power Habits 

If you’re feeling like you’re the only parent dealing with epic tantrums, here are some of our communities’ tips and supportive pieces of advice plus check out these toddler taming tips.


Alexandra Navarra

About the Author:

Alex is your average caffeine addicted mum on a quest to share her experiences and learn from yours. Her world revolves around her baby girl, four-year-old son and hubby Rob. She lives with her family in Sydney's South West and when she's not writing, you can find her engrossed in the latest true crime docu-series or trying to get kids to at least try the broccoli.

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