Temper tantrums can be a very stressful thing to deal with for parents. Unfortunately, they tend to be a fact of life, particularly when it comes to toddlers and small children. However, with the right tools, you can head temper tantrums off at the pass. Read through our parenting help tips for when one of your children is having a meltdown.
Figure Out the Cause of the Temper Tantrum
When you’re looking for parenting strategies to prevent temper tantrums, it’s important to start at the beginning. There’s usually some sort of trigger that causes your child to have a temper tantrum.
Often, temper tantrums are a way for a kid to express frustration, particularly when it comes to something they may not have the words to express in language.
Many causes of temper tantrums may be minor — a dislike of a certain food, for example — so knowing what you’re dealing with can be a simple way to help figure out how to respond.
Consider The Age Of Your Child
Your child’s age might play a role in what’s causing their meltdown. For younger children, the cause is likely to be something minor. Older children may have more serious concerns going on.
If your child is no longer a toddler and still having frequent temper tantrums, it may be time to consult with a child psychologist or counselor to rule out any other problems. You may also have to consult with your child’s family doctor, to ensure that there aren’t other health problems causing them to lash out.
No matter your child’s age, it’s important to hold them accountable for their actions. You can follow the formula: Notice, care, provide guidance, give feedback, and see it through. These general guidelines will help your child understand appropriate ways to react in different situations.
Plus, when your children know that someone is actively monitoring their behavior, they’re less likely to act out in problematic ways. Of course, your children still need to feel safe when you’re holding them accountable, so make sure you’re setting clear boundaries and rules in your home.
Shut It Down
Depending on the age of your child, sometimes it may be worth it to let them cry it out. However, if your child exhibits violent or aggressive behavior while throwing a tantrum, it’s important to shut it down ASAP. Letting your child get away with violence is a recipe for disaster later in their life.
If your child is causing harm to themselves while throwing a temper tantrum, such as holding their breath until they pass out, that’s also a major cause for concern.
Appropriate reactions are one way to make sure temper tantrums don’t continue. Punishment, in itself, is often pointless for children. Punishment will not change behavior, we want to look at our child as an Adult in Training. Take time to teach, train and set expectations. An easy way to redirect tantrum behavior is to simply say, “Go make yourself happy, when you’re ready you may join us.”
This puts the accountability back on the child to gather themselves, take the time they need and come back when ready. Dictating the timeline with parent-directed time-outs is not effective.
Don’t Yell Back
It’s important to stay as calm as possible, to set the tone of the interaction. Adults can have triggers too, after all, so it’s important to watch out for what sets you off. That’s an important way to continue parenting without yelling.
If you feel yourself reacting right back, take deep breaths and train yourself to take a moment before being quick to respond. If you have trouble calming down when your kid is throwing a temper tantrum, it may be helpful to look into parent mentoring to gain a few simple ideas for quick redirction and being prepared in advance.
Avoid Temper Tantrum Triggers
If there are particular situations that often result in your child having a temper tantrum, find ways to side-step those moments. If it’s something you can’t avoid, like the doctor, set expectations in advance and make sure your child knows what to expect. Eliminating the element of surprise can help your child feel more comfortable and prevent tempers from flaring. Plus, it provides an opportunity to develop a trusting relationship by telling them the truth and giving them ways to handle the truth.
You can also try speaking to your child and asking them outright what’s upsetting them. If they’re old enough, they may know exactly what’s causing their temper tantrum, which can save you a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out what the problem is.
Let It Go
Sometimes, you may want to just let your child express their anger. It always feels better after you get out your feelings, after all. If your child is having a temper tantrum at home, for example, that can be an acceptable space to let them get their feelings out.
However, this should only be done within reason. If your child starts throwing daily temper tantrums, it’s best to start curtailing this behavior immediately.
Kid Having a Meltdown? Solve The Problem Today
With the above tips, you should be able to avoid exacerbating the situation when one of your kids is having a meltdown. If you’re still having trouble, you can look into parenting classes or ask loved ones or professionals for more parenting advice.
Need more parenting tips? Check out the book, “Secrets To Parenting Without Giving a F^ck”, for more help with everything you need.