How to deal with tantrums

A tantrum is common in children aged 1-3 years and it is an unplanned outburst of anger and frustration; these outbursts can be physical, verbal or both. Your child may act out, be disruptive and generally display unpleasant behaviors – when your child “loses it”. Some of the triggers may be: tiredness, jealousy, hunger, lifestyle changes, excessive pampering and strict parental intervention or authoritative discipline.

Here are some of the ways to deal with tantrums:

Communicate with your child instead of arguing. Ask and allow them to answer by providing different scenarios to the current situation. For example, if he/she was playing with the pet ask him/her: “If you play roughly with the pet, what would happen? Would you enjoy play time more than if you treated it nicely?”. This conversational approach will develop common sense and analytical skills.

Provide options rather than bossing them around. Make them feel as if they are in charge of their own decisions. For example, if he/she had to pick up their toys and have lunch, ask him/her: “Would you like to pick up your toys first then have lunch? Or the other way around. Freedom of choice gets things done smoothly and desirably.

Use Distractions. Add a fun factor before things go out of control. For example, if you were going for a car ride and your child starts screaming and wobbling around in refusal of sitting in the car seat, tell him/her: “I’ve got your favorite coloring book and some crayons. They’re all yours… go wild!”. This approach will lure them in and keep them occupied the whole time.

Allow them to steam out. Give your child permission to scream and shout until they’re ready to stop. For example, if you were at home and the tantrum suddenly occurs, tell him/her: ‘You can yell louder if you want to. We’re home and no one is bothered by that’. This paradoxical instruction would relieve and calm them down instantly.

Make way for learning through risk-free experiences. Acquiring skills and good habits happens effectively through experiments. For example,if you were cooking and he/she were bored and constantly nagging tell them: “How about we get messy and bake a cake together? Would you like to prepare and mix all the ingredients by yourself?”Being involved in new situations will certainly boost their confidence and entertain them.

Observe, Identify the trigger and work your way around it. Set a time limit to his/her activities. For example, if he/she always refuses to turn off the TV to go wash up and head to bed, tell him/her: “I will set a 5-minute timer and when it goes off, you have to go brush your teeth and sleep”. This will train their mind to respect and manage time.

Patiently discuss the situation post-outburst. Approach him/her quietly and speak to them about what has happened and why. For example, if he/she had a hysterical outburst at the supermarket over a chocolate bar, sit them down and have a one-on-one conversation about why they wanted that candy so badly and if all that screaming was necessary. Making them feel safe and understood would bring them closer to you.

It is always better to work with tantrums not against them. Tantrums and/or stubbornness can have a positive outcome as well!

Stubbornness can undeniably:

Boost self-confidence

Cultivate a courageous attitude

Develop a strong personality

Accelerate learning

Promote positivity and maturity

Everything can be of benefit to your child’s development and character when treated wisely.

Try these tips and witness an immediate change in your child’s behavior!