A Toddlers Guide To The Perfect Tantrum

I was in the supermarket the other day, raising merry hell about not being allowed to use a Petits Filous as a dip for my KitKat (which was incidentally WELL WITHIN my basic human rights) when I saw another so called ‘toddler’ giving a brief whinge before being placated by a lousy bread-stick. Our predecessors would have been disgusted!

If you are tired, bored, sick of everyone around you or just feeling inherently evil for no reason whatsoever you NEED to make your feelings known. They don’t call it the ‘Terrible Twos’ for nothing – follow my simple guide to making this year horrific…

The How To Properly Sh*t Things Up Manifesto

Keep It Random – Pick two words and run with them. Think wellies in the bath or sleeping with the toilet brush, perhaps someone else looked out of YOUR car window or the cheerios you were served for breakfast seemed annoyingly round?

Be Inconsistent – This morning you understood the benefits of a coat and now if anyone so much as mentions your name and THAT word in the same sentence then you think they should DIE. Stuff changes and that’s totally fine!




Make It Public – If a toddler angrily pelts pieces of wooden train track at playgroup, and there is no one there for them to hit, does anyone require stitches?

Go Naked – Put forward a reasonable request but opt to do it without pants on. Always a winner.

Never Take Responsibility  Run head-first into a table and then blame every f*cker in the vicinity.

Threaten Lives – Your own, other peoples, whatever. Insist on licking all the plug sockets In the house or practise your throw/catch technique with kitchen knives. Much fun :)

Experiment with bad language – Ask for something you want and then compare the response time to that of the same request with swear words up front. If used in the right company I often find that my Quavers will be delivered directly into my gob within 5 seconds flat.


Perfect Your Timing – It can be tempting to peak too soon but if you wait until, for example… they are wandering tirelessly around the IKEA self-serve trying to find the last component of VERY complicated Pax wardrobe system… then you might find this is a good time to feel suddenly and seriously insulted about the colour of the cup that you specifically chose that morning.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Yep they will try and ignore you at first, then they’ll start to laugh. Toddlers can be so funny right! Ha Ha F*CKING HA. Keep going… a bit louder… the laughter is getting more nervous right?

Now they don’t know where to look… Keep going… well done you’ve hit AWKWARD.

Don’t stop! You need to get to the ‘mortifyingly embarrassing’ stage which is usually where you will be picked up and carried away signifying your well earned win.

Seek Out The Enclosed – Do the above but in an inescapable situation. For example, not that I’ve given it much thought (soon as my SELFISH BASTARD parents refuse to take me anywhere near London) BUT a well timed protest shit in a packed out capsule on the Millennium Eye in mid-summer could work well, no?


Think Fruitless – Feeling quite content? Not quite sure what to kick off about? Don’t worry!

It’s always good to bear in mind that contrary to most pursuits you really don’t need to have an end goal. In fact tantrums can work best if you strive to the unobtainable. Think of them as a cathartic release of negative energy.

Finally, If some of the above suggestions are a bit contradictory and confusing – good. The key is to have absolutely no idea about where you are headed – Just make sure you aren’t the only one crying before you stop. 

And remember…

They may confiscate our Cosy Coupes but they will NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!




P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


23 thoughts on “A Toddlers Guide To The Perfect Tantrum

  1. Claire

    Can I add ‘make use of phrases that could around the suspicions of social services’ – no please don’t! Stop! Ouch ouch hurt! Please stop!

  2. Katie @mummydaddyme

    Hahahaha so true- we are currently going through serious meltdowns with LL. She doesn’t know why she is melting down- she is hilarious. Not when it’s in Tescos down the middle of the sweet aisle though. ;)

  3. Andrew

    Thank you for your Toddlers Guide to Tantrums, however, I wish to register a complaint. You see, our 3 1/2 yo daughter can’t read, yet someone has clearly taught her ALL of these tricks, including the protest sh*t on the London Eye and that happened whilst she was 2. Therefore, someone has to have gotten there first in order to be currently coaching her on aforementioned techniques… There is one she’s not picked up on, and that’s swearing in public, but she can often be found muttering ‘for f*ck’s sake’ under her breath at home…

  4. Morna

    This is so funny – and sadly true. I had to carry my three year old screaming out of a Toby car very yesterday because they didn’t have any cheesey pasta on the menu. The shame!

  5. Carie

    Oh that’s hilarious and I definitely second the use of words to arouse suspicion such as a full blown ” I want to go to the pub and have a Daddy beer” to which you have to reply very loudly ” I know, you want to go to the hockey club and have a lemonade!” Not that that’s ever happened to me of course!!

  6. Steph - Don't Buy Her Flowers

    So YOU’RE the one that has been feeding Mabel ideas on how to be a terrifying Pixie. The randomness is definitely the key – so we idiot parents think we’ve got something cracked and everyone is calmly eating from a blue plate when suddenly THE BLUE PLATE IS THE DEVIL. Only upside is it’s more funny second time. When Buster hit this phase I thought we’d well and truly screwed him up, but he’s (mostly) calmer now. Acers post, always x

  7. Helen Goody

    Brilliant insightful and true. Not bragging or owt but my girls were pretty cool. My daughter is now a new nanny for two youngsters and I have shared your link as I feel you may be a ray of sunshine in her life.
    Oh and I adore rabbits (and guinea pigs)

  8. Louise

    Excellent! However, you have forgotten one of the most effective ways of causing disruption when out and about: pretending that your legs have stopped working in the middle of the high street. Or anywhere with lost of people around really.

  9. Jenny

    This is so true! We are currently starting the meltdown process here with MM and it’s been crazy because she has no clue why she is melting down at all. Sometimes I laugh at her and other times I cry with her as it’s for no reason. If you can’t beat them join them!!! lol Great post katie.

  10. Jess Paterson

    Oh man, that London Eye bit can only be true. I can just smell it. I find ill toddlers are even worse – the E numbers in Calpol give them an extra bit of mania. Fab post Katie xxx

  11. Laura's Lovely Blog

    Ha ha ha – brilliant
    Only a week ago we were on a submarine ride at Legoland – mummy I need a wee – well we can’t get off now we’re underwater, you’ll have to hold it in – too late mummy it’s coming out now. Cue me trying to mop it up with a packet of tissues I had in my handbag!

  12. Vickie from 29 year old mama

    This sums up my 2nd son down to a T. Thank goodness he’s now 10 and has outgrown these. Hurrah. I will never forget the mastered knee bend in the stomach to get him into his pushchair during meltdown moments- did anybody else do this?!

  13. mardykerrie

    Rosie is in the throw-yourself-on-the-floor mode at the mintute. Other than that we do OK for tantrums. Love your drawings. I’m writing all these tips down so that I myself can have a tantrum :) xxx

  14. Jenni

    I kind of felt like I should laugh but yet somehow couldn’t stop myself, particularly at the mention of toddlers specifically choosing thing themselves and then without warning hating the mere thought of said special can’t live without item *sigh*

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