Dealing With Temper Tantrums

We’ve all been there. You’re at Target or the mall and your wonderful spawn decides to throw a temper tantrum.

In public.

Loudly.

This is not my daughter. But it could be.

Don't panic. Here's 5 easy ways to deal with the tantrum:

1. Take a deep breath.

Remember, you are not the only parent who has gone through this. Thousands of parents have dealt with temper tantrums in the middle of the toilet paper aisle. It's like gettting a new badge for your Girl Scouts Parenting Sash.
Take a deep breath. Not everyone is looking at you and if they are, who cares? If they are a parent, chances are they are either grateful that it isn't them or thinking back to when they were in your position.

2. Don't give in.

Whatever it is that your kiddo wants, don't give it to them. Giving them the shirt/toy/candy only reinforces the idea that they can scream and make you uncomfortable and then get what they want. You do NOT want to reinforce this.

3. Get to the root of the problem.

Is there another possible reason for the tantrum? Did you push through nap time or lunch? This is a prime reason for a kiddo to throw a tantrum.

If this is the case, you can fix that real easy. If it isn't, then move to the next step.

4. Don't yell back.

When you child is in the throes of a tantrum, don't engage them in an arguement. Make sure they understand that this is not the way to get their needs met. Try something like this:
"I realize that you are upset, but this isn't a way to get what you want. When you want to talk nice and calm, then we can talk."
You may have to say this over and over and over, but if you keep your calm and the bambino can see that they aren't getting a rise out of you, they will calm down, eventually.

5. Keep'em safe.

If you are in public, you can't just walk away from a toddler who is kicking and screaming, nor can you let your little bundle of preciousness flail around in the shopping cart or at the restaurant table.
Make sure they can't hurt themselves, but once you have done that, let them just finish out.

BONUS TIP

If the tantrum escalates too far and it is taking too long for them to calm down, you may need to leave. Take them to the car, to a restroom or dressing room and wait it out. If you can, try to calm them down (by rubbing their back, letting them squeeze your hand, jumping up and down, etc) then let them know that once they are under control, their day can continue.

I know your first instinct is going to be finding a way to get them to shut up as quickly as possible, but picking them up, giving in or otherwise placating them isn't the way to go.

~~

What's your worst tantrum story? How do you deal with tantrums - give in or stay strong? As always, leave it in the comments! :)
Who's that Spartan doing tai chi? It's me! It's me!

 

Author of Domestically Challenged

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