1. Your toddler throws a huge strop in the middle of the frozen veg aisle of the supermarket. You…

a) Get down on the floor and join in – she’ll soon realise how silly she looks.


b) Turn beetroot red and swiftly move on to the frozen pudding aisle, hoping the lure of ice-cream will distract her.

c) You get down to her level, make eye contact and explain to her that this is not acceptable behaviour.

2. You pop into the newsagents when your toddler starts yelling, “Want sweets, Mummy!” You…

a) Tell him he can’t have everything he wants, buy your newspaper and leave promptly.

b) Give in – you just couldn’t bear another one of his screaming fits.

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c) Explain why he can’t have everything he wants and offer a compromise – when you get home, you can bake cakes together.

3. You’re at mum-in-law’s for Sunday lunch when your toddler refuses to eat his peas and starts throwing them on the floor. You…

a) Tell him if he doesn’t eat them then there will be no dessert – and stick to it.

b) Get all flustered, apologise profusely and drag him out of the room.

c) Keep your cool and try to reason with him, despite having an audience.

4. You ask your toddler to brush her pearly whites but she refuses and clamps her mouth shut. You…

a) Tell her straight – no brushing means no telly tomorrow.

b) Let her off tonight – she’s tired and you don’t want to set off another tantrum.

c) Explain why it’s important and then make brushing into a game.

5. You mention the word ‘bedtime’, then her eyes narrow and her face starts turning red. You…

a) Don’t give her a chance to throw a wobbly – any fuss means lights out without a story.

b) Give in to her demands this time, even if it means coming to bed with you.

c) Create a reward chart and stick to an enjoyable routine of bath, stories and bed.

If you answered mostly As...

Your parenting style? It's the hands-on approach...

You don’t care what people think when you’re teaching your toddler that tantrums are not the way to get your attention.

"Being firm and consistent is great but embarrassing yourself for the sake of your child’s learning isn’t necessary. Instead, try engaging with him. Praise him for something he has done right and he’ll feel more cooperative. You might also let him know you understand how it feels to really want something you can’t have," says parenting expert Melissa Hood, of The Parent Practice.

If you answered mostly Bs...

Your parenting style? Anything for a quiet life!

You dread having to deal with your toddler’s tantrums especially if it happens in public. You’d rather offer herim a compromise knowing it will calm the situation down.

"It can be hard to stick to your own rules in the face of challenging behaviour. Your intentions are good, as you feel you’re preventing her from getting too worked up by giving in. But why not try a different tactic? Prepare for success by letting her know how she should behave before going into the supermarket, and inject some fun into it with reward charts for good behaviour," says parenting expert Melissa Hood, of The Parent Practice.

If you answered mostly Cs...

Your parenting style? You are the reasoner...

For you, it’s all about talking to your toddler and trying to find out why he’s behaving this way. It’s fantastic that you’re in the mindset of talking things through, as this will create a special bond between you both.


"Sometimes, your toddler will be just too worked up to take on board what you’re saying. Use chill-out time before reasoning with him. He’ll also be more likely to listen if you first try to understand how he feels before launching into an explanation of why a particular behaviour is wrong," says parenting expert Melissa Hood, of The Parent Practice.