You may feel exhausted and frustrated when your kid throws a tantrum. Tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development, and most experts believe they occur when a child is old enough to have wishes of his or her own but not old enough to express those wishes in a socially acceptable way. However, parenting style greatly affects child behavior, and there are several things you can do to minimize and manage your child’s temper tantrums.
- Control the environment. Don’t set up situations that are bound to be over-stimulating and stress-filled for your child.
- Control the outcome. Don’t be afraid to leave a situation that you can see is going to be a conflict for the child. Learn to read the “writing on the wall” about the potential for disappointment.
- Set limits and stand your ground. Don’t argue about situations you know the child understands already. State your limit, stay calm, and acknowledge their feelings.
- Teach patience. After a tantrum or an argument has settled, talk to the child about how to wait for what they want, or how to plan for what they feel they need, or how to have alternatives that are almost what they imagined.
- Minimize frustration. Offer strategies for handling “big” feelings after disappointments, such as talking to a grownup, playing a fun game, relaxation techniques or playing with pets. Positive self-talk, time and calming down can help them develop a new plan or just let go of something they wanted.
- Validate their efforts. Notice and comment on the times your child is willing to “let it go.” Acknowledgment of growth in being able to deal with unfairness and disappointment goes a long way in reinforcing good patterns.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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