The dreaded tantrum… It happens to all parents at some point.
Maybe it’s at the park, a restaurant, the grocery store. Our little “angel” falls to the floor, kicking and screaming in full tantrum style. Children act out and throw tantrums when they feel their needs have not been met, and when they’re hit with a wave of emotions. It is our job as parents and care-takers to teach these little humans how to express their emotions and feelings in a more effective way. They should understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry or sad – it is just the way we express those feelings that can get us into trouble.
Once children have practice talking through how they’re feeling they can learn to express themselves so that others can understand them, and the tantrums will become less and less frequent.
Here are just a few tips for parents on how to help small children face tantrums…
1. Discipline with love and watch the little ones to identify the start of their attitude. Sometimes you can catch onto the behavior and talk it out before the outburst can even occur.
2. If your child does start having a tantrum take them into your arms and show calmness to make them feel secure. Get them out of the place where he started to make the tantrum, taking them somewhere that he or she can take out their anger or frustration without annoying passerbys. This is called “time out” and lasts until he or she is calm again. Sometimes they just need to cry and yell for a few minutes before they can calm down.
3. Talk to him or her and be sure you do not lose your temper. Remaining in control and genuinely asking what is upsetting them will let them know that you want to understand him or her and the reason behind their outburst. Help them to understand why what upset them happened, and talk through various solutions and/or consequences.
4. When they have calmed down, help them to understand the difference between acting out when angry and calmly talking to an adult about their feelings when angry. Acting out causes discomfort, tears, and we may inadvertently hurt others – not solving anything. Children should understand that there are other ways that their feelings can be heard, and talking to an adult calmly can help us look for the best solutions more effectively.
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