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Posts tagged ‘tantrums’

4 ways to handle a tantrum

Last week, we talked about why kids have tantrums. This week we’ll talk about 4 ways to handle them. So, here are some ideas to help children learn self-control:

1.       Set rules and enforce them. Many parents are concerned with how other people might look at them, so they’ll let their kids get away with things.  But you can’t let a child get what he or she wants just because you are embarrased. Forget about what people might say, you have to decide where your real priority is,  and that is to teach your child.
2.      Make sure your rules are age-appropriate. A 5-year-old may have a hard time keeping quiet in church, so expecting her to do so may be unreasonable. But that same child should be able to keep her food in her mouth when you go out to eat.
3.      Make sure you only discipline kids for breaking rules that they know about. Gently remind them by asking whether they remember what they’re supposed to do. If then, they look at you in a confused manner, you remind them of the rule. But you can’t punish them for something they didn’t know they were supposed to do.
4.      It’s OK to ignore some types of behavior. (e.g. asking for a toy at the department store). Any response you give to whining or crying, even punishment, shows that a child is in control. If you give in, you’re going to have lots of temper tantrums before they realize it doesn’t work.
5.      If they are very young (around 2 years), distract them. If not, then a brief time-out will help them understand how ineffective the tantrum is.
6.      Do not yell! Be firm but stay calm.

Bottom line is, do not give in! You are in control! They need to know that the tantrum is ineffective and inappropriate.

Have you tried any of these? Did it help? Do you have any more suggestions?

photo: iStock

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Why tantrums?

Ahhhh The Holidays are here! I get excited to just walk around the mall and see all the stores decorated so pretty! Of course the mall is full of people doing their (sometimes last minute) Holiday shopping. And once in a while (sometimes a lot more!) you’ll see a poor mother or father dealing with a tantrum! Kids get cranky and when they get cranky, they have tantrums. You see tears, kicking, screaming and sometimes even holding their breath!. I feel terrible for the parents. I am sure they are feeling embarrassed and like they are not doing a good job as a parent. But I also feel bad for the child. I see them frustrated, tired and desperately seeking attention from their parents and it makes you wonder, why do they feel a tantrum is the only way?

Well, a tantrum is basically an accumulation of disappointment, sadness, frustration or anger. It is also a child’s effective, although inappropriate, way to change a “no” to a “yes”. In this case, tantrums are a means of getting a desired result (object or action). Or they might be seeking attention.

Sometimes kids are frustrated because they feel hungry or tired and then the tantrum occurs. Other times they want to have more control over their choices (they want to play with that toy, RIGHT NOW!). Tantrums are more common between the ages of 1-3. This is a time when children are exploring and testing the world. If something doesn’t go their way… well, you guessed… tantrum!

But how is the best way to handle those tantrums? I guess you’ll have to wait for next week’s post to find out 😉

Are there any other reasons you think kids have tantrums? Please share it with us!

photo: iStock