Okay… Anyone with a child can relate to this one word… Tantrum. Yes, all children can throw tantrums… some tantrums can be severe and others can be mild. A small child can at times find it difficult to self-regulate their emotions which in turn can result in a tantrum. It can result in a tantrum because they do not know how to react to what they are feeling. Some children and adolescence can experience emotions such as anger, frustration, and fear stronger and faster than others. Sometime a child will throw a tantrum just because they want attention or they are told no. Sometimes, they want instant gratification and if this does not occur, a high chance of a tantrum will occur. What do we do to tame these tantrums? Here are 5 techniques…
- Identifying Emotions… start out with creating emotion flash cards and have your child identify each emotion with a time they experienced it. When you see your child struggling with an emotion or start to become frustrated, pull out the flash cards and have them identify their feelings.
- Be Consistent… Tell your child that if you say it’s time to leave the playground, they … must … leave the playground. Make it known that resistance isn’t going to change that.
- Get Everyone in on it… You and other caregivers (babysitter and partner) should be on the same page with how to handle it when the rules are broken. In turn, your toddler’s less likely to try to push the boundaries around different people.
- Using Praise… Let’s face it. Tantrums are going to happen. Praise your child when they do show self-control. When doing so, the child will start increasing the praised behaviors and decreasing the unwanted behaviors.
- Ignore the Outbursts… Sometimes toddlers just want attention. It doesn’t matter to them if it’s positive or negative attention, and a tantrum is a great way to get it. So maybe instead of punishing or yelling at your child, let him work it out himself.
Stephanie Stiltner, Ph.D., LPCC is the owner and a licensed counselor at Anchored Hope Counseling in Pikeville, KY. Anchored Hope Counseling helps individuals with anxiety, drug addictions, parent-child conflict, and relationship issues, to schedule an appointment go to www.AnchoredHopeCounseling.com