Some children experience tantrums and parents usually feel that they must stop this behavior in its tracks so that their child will be considered “normal” and like other children around them. We tend to feel like we have to automatically take charge and take our child away from a public situation. If we cannot manage our child’s meltdowns, we tend to feel like ineffective parents and helpless. Tantrums can be embarrassing, stressful and frustrating for both the parent and the child. Save yourself and your child from those dreadful tantrums and breakdowns. Learn some effective positive parenting tools for dealing with a hot-tempered child.
Your Reaction is Imperative
Getting angry when a tantrum takes place or giving in to a tantrum will not be a win-win situation. On one hand, your child may get more fired up because of your angry words or actions, and on the other hand, your child will feel like they can get away with anything and you lose the control within your relationship. Try ignoring their outburst if at home and continue on with what you are doing. This does not mean walk away, but rather stay close by in case they might hurt themselves or break something you love. Speak to them calmly with statements like, ‘I’ll talk to you when you calm down.’
Avoid Tantrum Triggers
If you have a toddler, start by moving all dangerous and breakable items out of reach. This will prevent an outburst from happening if you take away Grandma’s antique clock or that expensive crystal egg which is now in munchkins hands. Avoid any situations that may result in a tantrum. For example, if you know your child will ask for LEGO if you go into the toy store, don’t go down the LEGO aisle, or avoid the store and go when you have a babysitter watching your little one at home.
Know What to Do When a Tantrum Brews
It is essential that when your child blows up that you don’t follow the lead. It will only fuel the fire. Try to be a healthy example to your child. If you sense a tantrum coming, remove you and your child from the situation. If you are at home, some quiet time might help your child to soothe themselves or calm down. For example, when my son throws things and starts getting really upset and grumpy, I give him some time to himself. He usually calms down within 5 minutes when he is moved out of his current environment.
Know How to Communicate with Your Child
Talk calmly with your child. Avoid shouting, yelling or an angry tone. Let them know that they are safe and that they will be ok soon. Sometimes children become frightened of their out-of-control behavior. The tantrum will end, but when a child is in the situation, he or she may not know that, and they may feel afraid. They may not understand why they are acting this way. Make them feel safe when things get fiery.
Tantrums happen, but they always end at some point. Try to remember that when your sweet little angel turns into a raging monster. You both will get through it, and you’ll both survive. This too, shall pass.