Best ways to deal with tantrums
If you have read our previous blog, you probably already have an idea about tantrums and sensory meltdowns and the differences between both.
In this blog, we will talk more about the best ways to deal with tantrums.
So, what is a tantrum?
There is a fine line between expressing anger and throwing a tantrum. It is normal for toddlers to yell and cry and this behavior doesn’t necessarily constitute a tantrum. A full-blown tantrum typically has a reason behind it. When a child does not get what they have been asking for, they throw a tantrum, and sometimes do not stop until they get what they want. As discussed in our previous blog, tantrums are typically outbursts that are caused by frustrations that in some cases, have piled up for days, and are spiked with anxiety.
Here are a few methods parents can use to help deal with such situations effectively:
Stay calm: Let your kids make the noise and not you. As a parent, the worst thing to do would be to shout back at them. During the tantrum phase, children need someone to calm them down. They need assurance that they are being heard and their wants are not ignored. So wait for a second and decide your response carefully. As a parent, you set an example for your children in terms of behavior. It is important to keep this in mind as you consider the best way to respond to your child. Ensure that they understand that shouting and throwing tantrums are not acceptable in your family.
Give children what they need emotionally or physically: A tantrum can also be the result of feeling neglected, angry or frustrated. It might even be related to their health like experiencing low blood sugar levels, hunger, fatigue, inappropriate sleeping schedule, etc. Therefore, take the time to talk to your child and understand what is really bothering them and determine if they require any medical help. When children do not have the communication skills, then we state that such behavior is “language” in that these children are trying to communicate how they are feeling and what they need through such behavior as they do not have the tools to verbally communicate such feelings. Therefore, providing them with tools (e.g. picture book), helping them use gestures, etc. can help aid in this process and alleviate further tantrums.
Understand the problem: Children need assurance that they are being heard and that their opinion matters to you. To them, tantrums seem like the best way to share their feelings and be heard. It is vital that parents provide children with ample attention and listen to them carefully. This will allow the child to calm down and prepares them to respond better. A parent need not and should not give the child everything they ask for simply to halt the tantrum. Instead, try to understand the crux of the problem and give them what they actually do need.
No false promises: If your child asks for something they do not need or something which you cannot afford, instead of responding with a blunt “no," set clear expectations for them. They may not take no for an answer and it might just frustrate them more and increases the severity of the tantrum. Instead, be clear and set amicable expectations. For example, if your child wants something, tell them you will get it for them in a week or explain to them why they don't actually need what they're asking for.
Don't lose your ground: Once you’ve set an expectation and given your child an opinion, do not back down. They might not calm down right away, but they will understand that throwing tantrums is not the answer to getting what they want. This will stop future instances of such behavior.
Make sure they feel loved: Children need love and care. No matter what the situation is, always make sure they feel loved. Ensure that there is no negativity in your tone when responding to their tantrum. Motivate them to display better behaviour with the calmness of your response. Gently hug them when they’re cranky and whisper that you love them.
Has this blog helped you in dealing with a child throwing tantrums? As a parent, what methods have worked for you and your child? Please do share your thoughts and comments below.