When it comes to raising children, there is no doubt that it is most certainly a journey. A journey of learning, loving, and living. It will have it's wonderful ups, and it's terrible downs. We learn to go with the flow. But sometimes, our little ones throw a tantrum if something is taken away from them, or if they want something. And boy, does my little guy know how to throw one. It's not that often when he throws them, but when he does, it's the absolute be-all end-all tantrum, the mother of all meltdowns! When your child throws a tantrum of epic proportions, it's likely to get you in a tizzy as well, what with the tears, screaming and the jumping up and down. I think the most common dilemma as a parent, is how to deal with a tantrum when it happens. Even I still have trouble dealing with them, but over the past few years, I have come across certain techniques that seem to work. I understand that no two children are alike, but maybe if you see a technique here that might help, you can tweak it to your own specific needs. As parents, we need all the help we can get, right?
Keep Cool & Don't Lose Your Head
The biggest mistake that every parent makes when their child is throwing the tantrum of the century is losing their own patience with the child. Granted, it is really hard when you're little one is screaming at ear-shattering volumes, but it is so important to take a deep breath and to stay calm while they ride out their tantrum to the end. If your child is throwing a tantrum at home and someone else is in the house with you, you can even walk away for a few moments to gather yourself, while the other person keeps an eye on your child, to make sure he or she doesn't hurt themselves.
Make Sure They're In A Safe Environment
There is no telling when a tantrum is going to hit, they can happen when and wherever. When kids throw a tantrum they go all out; kicking, screaming, jumping around. So, one important thing to keep in mind when they are throwing their tantrum is to make sure that the environment around them is a safe one. Make sure that there is nothing around them that can fall on and hurt them, nothing sharp or hazardous. If need be, if you are at home, you can bring them to their bedroom to let them ride it out.
Try Striking A Deal With Them
When your child is throwing a fit over something that they can't have, for example, if they want a sugary snack or something that isn't healthy for them, try offering them something nutritious in place of what they want. Make sure that you stock healthy snacks in the house for them. Veggies are great, and fruits are always fun. If you offer them something in place of the unhealthy snack that they want, then you are likely to calm their crying down much quicker! Bargaining isn't the same as giving in to what they want, and that is an important point to remember. Stand your ground, but be willing to talk to them about other options.
Administer Time-Outs In A Neutral Place
When it comes to giving your child a time out, it is recommended that you don't give them a time-out in their bedroom or high chair, but rather a neutral place. Perhaps in the living room in a chair. Otherwise, if you put them in their bedroom or crib, they will begin to associate that room as a bad place to be. So for example, when bedtime rolls around, they will think that they are being punished when it is time to go to bed.
Talk To Your Child At Their Level
This is the most important thing remember when your child is in the middle of a tantrum. Nothing good ever comes of yelling and hollering during the push and pull of a tantrum. Children crave to be included, so it is imperative to treat your child as an equal, rather than looking down at them. When you speak to them, make sure you go down to their level and look them in the eye when you are talking to them. Speak in a calm and level tone, so they understand what you are saying. This will get you much farther.