Temper tantrums are something every parent and child go through together. Some children are more prone to tantrums than others, with my kids there were some that didn’t even throw a tantrum, while we dealt with dozens with other children.
Dr. Amy Baxter has five amazing tips to help parents manage temper tantrums. Keep in mind that this is a phase that all children go through, some longer than others.
1. Distraction is key to avoid temper tantrums. Kids hate waiting for anything really, so avoid a meltdown in the mall or traffic with a distraction. Play verbal word games and color games like I Spy where whoever is “it” picks an object in the area you are in, then gives the other players the color of it and they have to guess all the objects around the room until they find it, or they give up and it’s another person’s turn.
2. Offer a choice to your kids. Instead of saying “We’re leaving now.” try saying something like “We are going to go. Would you like to go now or play for 5 more minutes?” or “We are going to go. Would you like to swing one more time or finish playing with the truck?” Parenting isn’t about force, it’s about respect and love.
3. Make a deal. Don’t go back on your word, this will only encourage bad behavior that your child will think is ok. Before you go into a store tell them they can pick a box of cereal out, or a baked desert, but only one. If they ask for more remind them of your deal. This lays ground rules for both you and your child.
4. Provide a consequence for bad behavior. Don’t reward bad behavior. If your child pitches a fit in the store or doctor’s office remind them that if they don’t settle down or listen they are going to lose their desert or half of their allotted TV time for the day. Generally even stubborn children will realize you mean business after the first time of losing desert or not getting to finish Arthur.
5. Use praise. Remember to praise and bless children who stop taking temper tantrums and to reward them with words and occasional things such as a special desert or a new book for good behavior.
Remember, what your encourage and water in your little seedling will continue. Ignore bad behavior? That’s what you will get. Encourage good behavior? You’ll have a well behaved child.
What are your tips for dealing with temper tantrums?