Young children don’t plan to frustrate or embarrass their parents. For most toddlers, tantrums are a way to express frustration. For older children, tantrums might be a learned behavior.
Typically, the best way to respond to a tantrum is to stay calm. If you respond with loud, angry outbursts, your child might imitate your behavior. Shouting at a child to calm down is also likely to make things worse. Instead, try to prevent tantrums from happening in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some ideas that may help:
✅ Give plenty of positive attention.
Get in the habit of catching your child being good. Reward your little one with praise and attention for positive behavior.
✅ Provide direction
Try redirecting the tantrum behavior by suggesting that he or she ask nicely, or in a different way. When your child calms down and asks in a more appropriate way, praise him or her and supply the item. This gives children a strong incentive to stop throwing tantrums.
✅ Seek distraction
Children have tantrums out of frustration and because they do not have good impulse control. Thus, distracting a child before he or she escalates into a full-fledged tantrum is one of the best things you can do to save your sanity. Point to an interesting picture, share an interesting item you have with you, or practice singing a song together.
✅ Be calm
Control your own behavior. Try whispering. This often causes children to be quiet just so they can hear. Moreover, calming yourself can help your child to calm down as well.
✅ Don’t give in
If you give in to a tantrum control, even once, you teach your child that tantrums work, and that makes him or her more likely to throw an even bigger tantrum next time. Establish a daily routine so that your child knows what to expect.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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