How to Handle a Kid’s Tantrums Once it Starts
It’s one thing to see signs of an oncoming tantrum, but what are the tricks to handling a kid’s tantrum when they are already kicking and screaming?
Stay cool and calm
Matching a child’s screams will not do anyone any good. If you want to calm down a child, then you have to stay relaxed as well. Try not to give in to your own frustration and anger.
Respond to the cause
Try to gauge the reason for the tantrum, and respond appropriately. Sometimes the child just needs a hug and some comfort.
Get some snacks if the child is hungry. Maybe it’s time for a quick nap? In some cases, it might be best to ignore the outburst and move on to something that might interest the child. Awareness of what sets a child off can help parents learn how to handle a kid’s tantrums.
When a child gets upset because you won’t give in to a particular demand, give a quick explanation, and move on. Do something else and keep the child distracted.
When you know your child well enough, sometimes it is best to disregard the outpouring of emotion. Insist that you can communicate after the child has calmed down.
Ensure their safety
When a child is in a full-blown tantrum, make sure the child is safe from harm, or won’t be able to harm others. Take the child somewhere quiet to relax and calm down. This is particularly important when outbursts occur in public spaces.
Be firm when needed
When safety becomes an issue, and the child continues to repeat the forbidden behavior, it is time to be extra firm. Impose a time-out, or hold the child firmly and explain why such behavior cannot continue. Stay consistent when safety is involved.
Don’t give in
When parents simply give in to their children’s tantrums, then they begin to realize that such behavior works! To learn how to handle a kid’s tantrums, parents need to determine how to address emotional outbursts at a young age, and in their early stages. Yielding to a child’s demands just shows that tantrums are effective.
Constantly remind children that whining and screaming are not acceptable behavior. If they want or need something, then they need to engage in polite and earnest conversation.
Accept when at fault and learn to apologize. Parents also make mistakes or can be insensitive to children.
Be your child’s role model
Be a role model! If you don’t want any crying and screaming in the household, then parents have to restrain their emotions as well.
Learning how to handle a kid’s tantrums don’t end here! Parents need to reinforce children’s behavior when the outburst is over. Praise the child for recovering their control and calming down. Children may feel particularly helpless after a tantrum or a disagreement with a parent. Ease their anxiety with a tight hug, and be generous with the “I love you” to reassure them.
Sleep is also important, and make sure that the child is well-rested. When children lack sleep, they can become hyper, agitated, and disagreeable. Make sure that children are getting the sleep and rest that they need to reduce tantrum triggers.
How to Handle a Kid’s Tantrums: When to see a doctor
Knowing how to handle a kid’s tantrum also means determining when it might be time to see a doctor.
- Talk to a doctor when tantrums continue at age 4 and beyond. When all forms of mediation or intervention fail, the issue might also require medical attention.
- Though uncommon, tantrums may be due to hearing or vision problems, an illness, language delays, or a learning disability. Watch out for these signs to help facilitate early intervention and stem future behavioral problems.
- If the parent is getting increasingly angry or frustrated and feeling a loss of control, or the tantrums are becoming even more intense and frequent, or there is no longer any form of cooperation between the parent and child, then it might be time to get help from others.
Knowing how to handle a kid’s tantrums essentially requires getting to know the child better. Each child is special and they process emotions in their own unique way.
Keep the child well-fed and rested, and be aware of possible tantrum triggers. And ultimately, reassure your child that you love and care for them.
Over time, parents will determine which strategies work best for their child.
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