You are at a departmental store and your child suddenly flares up, making a huge scene in the public. Reason? He witnesses a parent buying toy cars for her child at his age, and he wants the exact toy but you refuse to buy for him. Would you buy him the toy to calm him down? Or would you try to reason with him not to buy it? However, as parents are aware that it is almost impossible to reason with your child when they are in full-on tantrum mode. Your child has been totally hijacked by the part of the brain that controls our fight-or-flight response, in which they will only defend and attack you.
So, what can you do? Here are 8 tips from us on ways to tame your child’s tantrum! If you have some proven effective ways that are not listed here, please do share with us in the comment box below! All the mummies and daddies will be grateful for your input.
1) Stay calm and don’t be agitated!
Take deep breaths and avoid having negative thoughts. Tell yourself that it is normal for kids to react that way and be optimistic about making the situation better instead.
2) Talk less
When your child is throwing a tantrum, they are not able to listen or think clearly. Therefore, it is best to talk less and instead, focus on using gentle and non-verbal communication.
3) Avoid scolding and punishing them
Most parents will get agitated especially when everyone is staring at the scene your child made and they’ll naturally react with anger. Rather than stopping a tantrum, these punitive actions may do them harm for the long run.
4) Validate your child’s feeling and empathise
Validating your child’s feeling will help him feel understood, which in often cases, their tantrum can de-escalate immediately. Being gentle with your words, empathise your child and say, “Wow, I can see that you’re very angry. It is surely not a nice feeling that you can’t own the toy.”
5) Divert your child’s attention to other things
Now, what you can do is to divert your child’s attention to something more interesting like, “Hey baby, your school holiday is coming up isn’t it? Is there any place in mind you would like to go?”
6) Establish boundaries and limits
As normal as it can be for children to throw tantrum, you have to ensure that they don’t start hurting himself, you or tangible items. Once they get violent, it is a warning sign to hold him tight and firmly tell him, “It’s okay to be angry but it is not okay to hit.”
7) Affectionate touch
Physical touch is always the best medicine for your little ones. When they are throwing a tantrum, try giving him a hug or carry him in your arms and explain to him “I’m sorry this is hard, you want the toy but I wouldn’t buy it for you. Be a big boy and stop crying.”
8) Support your child until the tantrum is over
Help your child get through and learn to deal with the tantrum until it is over. If none of the above works, just let your child cry until the tears are out. Let them get all the emotions out, rather than exploding later on.
Parenting has indeed changed over the years, and especially in this digital age where children are given the privilege to have iPads and phone. And when your child’s peers have them, it is usual for your kids to compare and demand from you. Therefore, right parenting is crucial, even from the start of their early years. You cannot undo what is done and when your child is big and obnoxious, it will be too late.
Do click here to read on ‘Parenting in the Digital Age’ for more information.
Parenting in the Digital Age
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