Toddler Whisperer Ms Rachel Shares Simple Trick To Minimise Tantrums

If you're often fighting battles with your toddler because they want to do everything themselves, the YouTuber has a trick you can try.
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“You can’t jump off there.”

“Don’t climb that.”

“You can’t lick that, you don’t know where it’s been.”

If these are the sorts of phrases you find yourself uttering on a daily basis, chances are you’ve got into some pretty heated battles with your toddler who wants nothing more than to be independent and free all of the time.

While it’s lovely to see them develop, it can also be extremely tiring when your desire to keep your kid out of harm’s way results in the mother of all tantrums – or, you know, multiple meltdowns.

That’s why every toddler’s favourite YouTuber, Rachel Griffin Accurso – aka Ms Rachel (@msrachelforlittles) – has shared some advice with parents on TikTok about ways you can help avoid such daily battles. Or at the very least, minimise them.

The children’s entertainer took to TikTok to explain that “we have to tell toddlers what to do all day, every day because we want to keep them healthy and safe”.

But toddlers also have a need to be independent and in charge, said Ms Rachel, “which is a human need, so it’s understandable”.

Of course, it makes life a little difficult when that human need leads them to doing dangerous or inadvisable things. As Ms Rachel says: “They will walk off playground equipment if they’re in charge.”

So what’s the solution here? Well, the YouTuber recommends giving your toddler some choices in their day to fulfil that need for independence.

She offers the example of asking them if they want to paint or play with Play Doh, or if they want to wear their yellow shirt or blue shirt.

Parents – and even paediatricians – agreed it’s a great tip to use. One mum said: “Ever since I went from ‘do you wanna brush your teeth’ to ‘do you wanna take Baby Shark or Skye with you to brush your teeth’ [it] has changed the game.”

Another parent said they let their child choose the order, too. They offered the example: “Do you want to brush teeth, or put on jammies first?”

According to Pennsylvania State University research, giving children choices helps them feel like they have some power and control over what they do.

There are plenty of benefits to offering choices, from reducing the risk of tantrums to helping them develop problem-solving skills and inviting cooperation.

The university advises parents to give children choices by selecting two or three things and letting your child choose from them. The key thing here is to only offer things you can actually agree to.

Some choices you could offer them, include:

  • “Which book would you like to look at?”
  • “Do you want to use a blanket during nap time?”
  • “Would you like tomato pasta or a cheese sandwich for lunch?”

Allowing kids to make choices can sometimes backfire however, so it’s important to offer them wisely. For instance, if you ask your child if they want to have a nap, the likelihood is they’ll say “no” and then you’ll have a battle on your hands because inevitably they will need that nap.

Of course, the offer of choices won’t always work – but it is a useful tool if you find yourself battling with your toddler regularly.

As one parent commented on Ms Rachel’s video: “I tell my toddler yellow or blue shirt and she chooses the third secret option which is laughing maniacally and refusing all clothes.”