Parent’s Guide To Tame Temper Tantrums of Kids | Your Doable Action Plan
If you ask me which job is the most difficult and underrated one, I have to say it is, “Parenting.” Honestly, you have to raise an infant to be a sensible being, it is like filling up a blank slate, that too without any pre-coded guide. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that as the kids grow they have their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors which even they do not know how to channelize.
As a result of which you will often find kids throwing temper tantrums. These tantrums by kids are not only embarrassing or difficult to deal with but also ends up souring the parent-child bond (if not dealt with appropriately). To ensure that as a parent, you know how to deal with kid’s temper tantrums we are sharing a doable guide with you.
Parenting is like playing a dart game while some tactics hit at the right place, others may deviate from the goal. So, you can pick different measures to deal with a kid’s temper tantrums below, use them in combination, and see what works best for your child. Remember every child is unique, and so are his or her needs.
Ways to Deal With Kids Temper Tantrums (Healthily)
1. Remain Calm (Your child feels your energy)
If both of you are going to lose you cool then, the situation might go even worse. While your child is still exploring his emotions and ways to demonstrate it, we suggest that as a parent you should choose to stay calm. Not only will it make the environment lighter but also your child calmer as they can feel your energy. It might come as a surprise but your kids do feed on your emotions. By reacting with anger can make them feel even more agitated. That is why when your kid throws temper tantrums remember to stay calm.
2. Use Positive Language Alternatives (Your words fuel their emotions)
The way you communicate with your child during his temper tantrum can either work as water or fuel for the situation. It is suggested that the phrases you use and communication you put up with your child should do the work of water here. To make it happen, you can work on language and replace the negative and not so comforting one with language that is positive and warm.
- Rule number 1, avoid using the word NO.
- Rule number 2, use the words “you want” this will give the child a message that you know what they want and need. Making them feel calm.
- Rule number 3, listen to your child without reacting. Sometimes the child just wants to be heard.
- Rule number 4, switch your phrases from negative to positive ones.
|Negative Phrases||Positive Phrases|
|Calm Down||How can I help you?|
|Be Quiet||Can you use a softer voice?|
|You Are Okay||What is bothering you? Are you ok?|
|Don’t Hit||Please be gentle.|
|You are going over the board||Do you need a hug? Do you want to lay down on my lap for a while?|
|Stop Yelling||I am here for you. Take a deep breath and tell me what went wrong.|
|I am not talking to you||I know this is hard for you. Please allow me to help you.|
|I am over this||I am here for you|
3. Be Consistent (Show confidence in your decisions for the good of your child)
It was only a few days back that I came across this concept of consistency in dealing with a child’s temper tantrums. Through consistency you show your child that it is the best decision for them and they have to abide by it, reducing the intensity of their tantrum. The concept of consistency can be best explained through an example so here is how consultancy works in taming temper tantrums.
Situation: Your child comes to you, throws tantrums for not getting candy:
How can consistency help here to tame temper tantrums?
Child: The child comes to you and says I want candy and begins to cry.
You: I know you love candies, but you can only have them on Saturday. So, you have to wait till then.
Next, the child goes to his second parent and repeats the same thing
Second Parent: Oh honey! I know you love candies. I will get it for you on Saturday as you are only allowed to have it on that day.
After this, the child goes to his grandparents and repeats the same behavior.
Grandparents: We will be having a candy party on Saturday!
Finally, the child learns that no matter how many tantrums I throw my family is consistent with their choices and rules. I might have to just wait for Saturday to eat candy.
Outcome: Your consistency gives the message to the child that my temper tantrum didn’t get a reward so, it is better that I agree with them. But if there was a loophole in this consistency the child tantrum would have even gone bigger next time plus, it might tamper with the bond between you and your child.
4. Check on Your Reward System (Don’t reinforce the negative behavior)
Talking about rewards and reinforcement, as discussed above kids are blank slates, the behaviors that are rewarded will continue to display and the ones that are punished or disregarded will eventually fail out. The same applies to the tantrums by kids. If you reinforce it they will continue to display it as they are getting something out of it. Here you might be thinking that I would never reinforce a tantrum by my kid!
So, why does s/he continue with it? Well, the reason behind the same is that it happens in the form of escapism. Let us understand it with an example. During my undergrad, we were often given this example that helped us understand the reward system and how it works in handling the child’s temper tantrums.
Imagine you walk inside a supermarket with your child and he starts begging you for his favorite soft drink. After your refusal, he just starts rolling on the floor and crying. Now you have two option here:
Option A: To escape the embarrassment cause you allow him to take the soft drink.
Option B: You will not simply say no again (being consistent) and continue with what you were doing.
If you choose option A then you are fueling their temper tantrums. Your eyes work as positive reinforcement and the child is likely to repeat this behavior again, as for him it is a path to reach his goals.
If you choose option B (which appears to be rude but it is the right choice) then you are not only being consistent but also ensuring the same behavior is not repeated. Thus, taming the kid’s temper tantrums effectively.
Now you can understand that if the child’s behavior is such that it should not be rewarded, stick with it. It will help you handle future temper tantrums.
5. Offer a Healthy and Calming Diversion (Introduce them with healthy outlets)
To reduce down the intensity of your kid’s tantrums you can offer them a calm, comforting, and healthy diversion. This works as a way to divert their emotional energy in a healthy direction that causes no harm to them. It completely depends on the child what comforts him the most. Maybe reading a book, taking swimming laps, or yoga can help one child, while gardening and painting can help the other.
However, if the meltdown takes place outside the house walls then you should remove them from the environment. Considering the above example you can divert the child from soft drink by telling them to move the cart around or bake their favorite cookies for them, likewise.
The best alternative that I prefer is… Hugging and squeezing the child within my arms (after taking their consent). It will immediately calm their tantrum senses.
Next time when your kids go bananas, you know exactly how to handle the temper tantrum. Do let us know in the comments section which out of the 5 measures you are going to try! If they work effectively for you, share your success story with us.
Remember to never reward your child’s tantrum by giving in (it is the key).
Thank you for reading!