One of the main sources of toddler tantrums is the frustration that is associated with being unable to clearly communicate their needs. They point and grunt, offer a word that they know or a series of sounds that you may be unable to interpret. As a result, their needs often go unmet. If you have a toddler, you know what happens next, frustration levels skyrocket and the inevitable tantrum ensues.

Signing can help reduce frustration for both children and caregivers. Children can offer a sign to get their needs met instead of throwing a tantrum. This takes the guesswork out for caregivers and removes the stress of trying to figure out what a crying toddler’s needs may be. By using this one simple tool you can meet your toddler’s needs and help them feel less frustrated thereby reducing the overall number of tantrums.

Do not be fooled however, signing does not eliminate tantrums. This is because
signing actually increases self-confidence and self esteem. Once your child
begins to sign, you might find that she will ask for things that are not allowed,
like ice cream for breakfast, your computer or cell phone. Be prepared for this
by offering choices and setting boundaries. If you are unable to meet these
requests, you may still encounter an occasional tantrum.

Monika Mira is an author, educator and advisor to childcare professionals and moms. She believes that a multisensory approach is the key to making learning more efficient and enhancing memory. Monika uses sign language as a multi-sensory teaching tool, which she believes is especially helpful for teaching reading. She also uses baby sign language to help parents as well as daycare and preschool staff communicate with infants and toddlers before they have developed speech. Monika is the author of The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book which features over 80 species of fish. Book link: