How to handle children's tantrums

By Drum Digital
23 February 2015

Kids can be quite a handful, we all know this, and when they have a temper tantrum it can be extremely hard to keep a cool head.

It's not a good idea to let your child scream and shout without a care in the world but there are ways to go about calming them down which will leave both you and the little one feeling peaceful.

As much as you feel like yelling and pulling your hair out, this isn't the way forward. What you really need to do is make sure your child feels safe in your presence before you go about tackling the tantrum, so getting them to behave out of sheer fear isn't the best approach. Plus it could have detrimental effects on their development.

Instead you need to approach the situation in a calm manner, raising your voice only slightly to highlight your main points.

Your child needs to be made aware of what behaviour is acceptable and which is forbidden. Don't be afraid to be straightforward; if they refuse to eat dinner and demand something else then you need to make it clear they should be grateful for you cooking them their meal, and that some kids don't even have hearty dinner every day. Explain why they're wrong in not eating what you've made them in simple terms so they can process it easier rather than complicating things with an abstract metaphor. While an easy way to quieten a child is giving them what they want, this isn't advisable. This just means you're teaching them that tantrums lead to them triumphing and once they have that power over you, there's no stopping them. Instead, give your little one the opportunity to say what they think and express their feelings in order for them to feel accomplished rather than distracting them with a desired object.

Instead you need to approach the situation in a calm manner, raising your voice only slightly to highlight your main points.

They're little humans after all and have a right to feel emotions - they're developing every second of the day. So be sure to make it clear to them that it's not their feelings which are wrong, but their actions in expressing them which are naughty.

It's nothing to do with you as a parent as they would probably treat others they spend a lot of time with in the same way, so remember not to take their habits personally. If anything they may take things out on you more as they know you'll always be there for them and they trust you to make things right.

Lastly, don't avoid admitting you've been wrong yourself. After yelling you could apologise and reveal it's not right of you, proving that even grown-ups make mistakes.

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