Outbursts are a natural part of a child’s development. How you manage them can either escalate or resolve the situation. It can be tough at times, but here are some ways to make the difficult behaviours easier to overcome:
By Bianca Pang
Understanding the cause
There is usually a reason why children throw tantrums. Getting to the core of them can help you defuse and avoid outbursts in the future. Your child could be seeking attention, be tired, uncomfortable or hungry. Frustration plays a big role in stirring up an outburst. Some kids may not be able to express themselves very well. At an early age, youngsters are also easily overwhelmed.
The best way to deal with temper tantrums is to find ways to avoid them altogether. Give kids the illusion of choice by asking questions like, “Do you want to change into your PJs before or after brushing your teeth?” Keep objects that are off-limits out of their sight. Consider their requests and choose your battles carefully. If they are younger, give them a fair warning ahead of time if you’re going to leave a park or pull them away from something that’s fun.
The number one rule is to stay calm. You are a role model. If they see that you’re able to keep your composure, this will influence their mood as well. Let them know you understand their aggravation. Sometimes that alone may be enough to calm them down. Be humourous– creating a light moment will break the tension. Try distracting them by giving them something else to think about. Consider creating a tantrum room where they can go and let out their frustration. Don’t designate a time limit. Simply ask them to stay in there until they have gained control. After, suggest a better way they could have behaved or help them understand why they didn’t get their way.
5 ways to handle tantrums in public
- Let your kids know the behaviour you expect ahead of time;
- Bring some distractions— pack a snack or a favourite toy;
- Don’t give in to bad behaviour. Set Limits;
- Stay consistent and reasonable;
- Calmly take the child to a more private place they persist.