When our children throw tantrums it can be infuriating or even downright scary! Yet tantrums, ‘melt –down’ or ‘wobblers’ are a perfectly normal stage in our children’s development. And it’s reassuring to know that diffusing tantrums effectively and reducing their recurrence is often relatively straightforward.
Here is a sample of some of our easy and effective tools for solving this issue
This works really well:
EMPATHY AND VALIDATION:
- Even if we think that our children can’t hear us over the sound of their own wails, it’s worth trying to get close to them just to let them know that we care.
- Say to your child with empathy “I can see you are very upset…”.
- However unnerving tantrums may be, we should try to provide a quiet, peaceful response (and atmosphere if possible) when they do occur.
- At the same time, hold steadfast to your own rules and try hard not to ‘give-in’. In this way our children will learn that tantrums are not the way to get what they want.
Here is another suggestion:
- Hugging almost always helps reassure and calm down distressed children.
You can even call hugging ‘The Big Hug Time’ and refer to it whenever your child loses control.
- For example. Tell your child “I’m going to hug you till you calm down because I love you and I don’t want you to hurt yourself or anyone else”.
- If your child is really frustrated or upset, he or she may lose physical control, which may involve striking out at you or others. If you can get near your child without getting hurt, or without too much of a struggle, keep trying to hold him or her in your arms until the tantrum stops.
- If your child is in a public place (for example in the middle of a supermarket!), you should lead him or her to a quiet place, such as the car or a rest room and keep him or her safe until the tantrum has ended.