Temper Tantrum Techniques
As we are so excited to become parents and share our lives with these little bodies, we also have to learn with some difficult situations. When newborn I have had it both ways, one cried and screamed over everything, and being a baby she could not tell me what was wrong. Lesson Learned about colic and Airways (adenoids and tonsils). Or you can have the perfect little one who sleeps through the night early and is content just watching and observing. I have 3, and the first one was a picky eater from his first breath of life, we had what they called sundowning (he cried the same time of day, daily, in the evening). All and all I learned something new with all of them and I still am. Temper Tantrums are very intense and can be long and drawn out. Many of the experts I have read all comment on how keeping your cool works to defuse the situation.
When tempers flare as a person it can be hard to control your own temper, but as a parent it is vital that you learn to set a good example. Experts all agree that to handle a temper tantrum Time Out is a good tool to use. Removing the child from the stressful situation give them time to think about how they acted and what happen. We, as parents, may also need to take a time out. When your voice gets raised and you feel that anger boil it is best to say I am really upset right now and need a time out myself. Go into another room and take a break, this too will also help diffuse the situation and allow your child to see a good example of how to behave.
Another common tip was to take a breath, step back out of the situation and breathe! Teaching your child to recognize those situations and their own emotions can stop the tantrum before it starts. Talk to them about feelings, what they mean and how it is ok to react when they are mad, sad, scared, etc. As for a parent taking a breath allows us to get our ducks in a row, and calms our fight or flight response. Instead of getting upset and yelling, we can take a breath and decide the best action for the situation.
In teaching your child how to pick up on their emotion you have to teach them how to talk about what they are feeling too. For a little one that can be hard, hard to calm down, and hard to find the right words to make us understand what they are feeling and what they want. One thing I have found that works wonders with my 3 year old is to say “I know you are mad at mommy, I know you did not want to share that toy, but when we go visit them at their home, she shares her toys with you, so when they are here, we share with her.” (for example) I can see his face change as in ok, mom understands. For us parents, when used on occasion, using words can really change the moment. “OK guys Mommy is very upset, I need a moment.” This allows us to validate how we are feeling and gives us a brief break. (again the time out thing).
If you are having trouble understanding your child and have no idea what is going on, try letting them draw it out. Let them tell the story on paper with crayons and they can have a moment, distracts from the situation, and gives them an outlet for their frustration. You on the other hand may want to listen to loud music, go for a run, or even blog about what you have been dealing with. Get creative for both you and your child in how to express your feeling and what is going on in your lives.
Finally my favorite tip I have come across for dealing with temper tantrums is to change the mood. Instead of increasing the tense mood by you getting upset b/c you don’t like they way they are acting or understand why they are throwing a tantrum, change it. Continuing on that path will only exacerbate the situation, instead lighten the mood. I like to go “OH NO, Mommys tickle bugs are coming out, OH NO, here they come.” Distraction, Laughter, is truly the best medicine. When you hear your child laugh, it immediately changes your mood and it lightens your heart. For your child to laugh, they are no longer stuck on what was going on but are focusing on the fun of the moment.
I hope these tips help you out and as always please share and check out my Re-New You Health page on Facebook promoting Health, Happiness, Faith, Family, and Fitness.
Amanda Tiberghien FB