Being a counsellor specializing in the challenges of children, parents often share their temper tantrum war stories with me. They happen at home, in the grocery store, at the park, in the car and at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and they usually result in parents feeling incredibly frustrated, embarrassed and lacking in control. So what is the good news? Tantrums can be tamed with a few minor adjustments.
When tackling the temper tantrum, there are a few things you should know. Essentially, there are two types of temper tantrums – the Temperamental Tantrum and the Testing Tantrum. Basically, the Temperamental Tantrum is the tired, hot, hungry or all-of- the -above tantrum. To prevent these tantrums from occurring, watch for:
We try our best to prevent the Temperamental Tantrum by addressing the above factors and planning ahead, but sometimes these tantrums are unavoidable. So what do you do when it does happen?
Second we have the Testing Tantrum. I call it this for two reasons; it tends to test your patience and is a test of the situation for your child. Testing Tantrums generally happen when your child is attempting to gain something and are not successful, such as a toy from a peer or candy at the grocery check-out. In dealing with this sort of tantrum, it is most important to ensure your child is not successful in getting what they want by way of the tantrum. In other words, don’t give into the tantrum! To prevent this sort of tantrum, you may try:
Once the tantrum has started try the following steps to eventually decrease the tantrums you are seeing and end them quicker when they happen:
Although tantrums can be trying and embarrassing, if you have a plan for responding you will quickly get the tantrum under control. Present like you are calm, cool, and collected (even if you’re not!) and you will look like a parenting pro.
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