Taming the Tantrum

Taming the Tantrum

Taming the Tantrum

You walk into a store to find a beautifully put together young mother with her toddler shopping in the store.  All seems well until the little person starts throwing a fit.  All eyes are now on the mother, stares and glares from every direction, everyone wondering what she’ll do to calm her toddler down.  If you’re a mom, undoubtedly your mind is filled with thoughts of compassion for the mom, because goodness knows, we’ve all been there before.  No mom has escaped the dreaded tantrum.

Here are a few thoughts on taming the tantrum:

Ignore the behavior.  As difficult as this is to follow through on, experts believe that ignoring the behavior (not the child) is the best way to deescalate the tantrum.  This is hard for many of us given that we are women and moms, and want to fix everything right away.  Reacting to your child’s tantrum in an ineffective manner will not only make matters worse, but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem or teach your child.  Screaming and feeding into the tantrum is not going to effectively change the behavior.  Don’t feed into the bad behavior, it only reinforces it. 

Use appropriate action.  As parents, we teach our kids most effectively by example.  If we lose our cool and fly off the handle, our kids will only do the same; of course, we are human and these things happen occasionally.  When a child is having a tantrum, it’s always best to have an appropriate reaction and plan of action.  Your child will not want to engage in this type of behavior if the reaction they get is not what they hoped.  Further, kids need a little time to gather themselves and calm down, so some quiet time or a calming down period is good.

Talk about the problem.  When your child has calmed down, talking to them on their level is important.  Even children want to be heard and understood.  Get down on their level, look them in the eye, and have a conversation with them.  Although, many toddlers can’t use big words and sentences, they’re usually good at trying to get their point across, so listen to them.  It shows you care and are there for them.   

Understand the why.  Young kids have needs and desires just like adults.  They also want to be understood. Behind every tantrum is a need or an emotion that causes a child to feel frustration.  I’m not saying to give in to your child’s every desire; life doesn’t work like that.  Rather, calm the situation down, try to figure out what the problem is, listen, understand, and be compassionate. Its tough growing up!

Love & Hugs,

Bianca

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