When it comes to temper tantrums, we can all use some advice 🚼ℹ️
Here are six tools for dealing with your child’s tantrum:
1️⃣ Focus on feelings
Children’s tantrums often stem from intense feelings that can be tough for them to handle. Showing empathy by labeling your child’s feelings and letting them know you understand can be helpful: “I understand that not getting that candy makes you really mad.”
2️⃣ Do some distraction
You can try salvaging any positive feelings. Your shopping trip may have previously held by simply distracting your child from his fit. You can start talking to them about something else (“What should we play when we get home?”), or absolutely anything else you can think of that might help distract them.
3️⃣ Try touch
It has been found that one of the most effective ways to stop our child’s tantrums is through touch. Children really responds to a mid-meltdown massage, tickle or cuddle. Not only does it distract them by helping them to focus on other sensations, but it also helps to reconnect you and your child after the emotional separation that a tantrum can cause.
Taking deep breaths can help your child calm down when things get tough. You can teach your children by saying, “Breathe in like you’re smelling a flower, breathe out like you’re blowing out a candle…” Repeat as needed.
5️⃣ Ignore it
Especially if you’ve already tried some of the above tools without success, you may have deduced that your child’s tantrum is just a really loud last-ditch effort to get what they want. Although children often throw tantrums because they’re having difficulty handling big feelings, sometimes a meltdown is just an effort at manipulation. In that case, they will get over it soon. And if you ignore it, they will learn that throwing a tantrum didn’t get them anything – so next time they might as well skip it.
6️⃣ Use positive reinforcement
If tantrums are becoming a pattern for your little one, you might want to try positive reinforcement to help prevent future outbursts. On occasions when you witness your child deal with problems in a calmer, more productive way (as rare as those may be), make sure to give your child plenty of compliments. And if you’re really desperate, you could offer a reward system such as earning a sticker for every day he doesn’t throw a tantrum, and a special reward once they accumulate five stickers.