While providing day care in the Perth area, we get plenty of “chances” to see temper tantrums firsthand. Usually, a child throws a tantrum out of frustration because they aren’t getting what they want. The more a parent caves in and gives them what they want, the more motivation they have to throw a tantrum.
Does this mean that one should ignore a tantrum? No. But there are a lot better techniques of stopping tantrums than just giving in. Here are a few to try when your child throws a tantrum.
Nip It in the Bud
It is easier to stop a tantrum before it starts than once it is already in full “bloom.” One of the best ways is to ask your child what they are feeling and what they need or want when they are displaying signs of throwing a tantrum.
The next step is to use the magic word: yes. But not to cave in. Instead, try something along the lines of “Yes, I know you want (insert item) and I might let you have it later, but not right now. Let me think about it and I’ll tell you later.” This allows your child to believe that they may get what they want, so they will be likely to work with you for it.
If the tantrum has already started, it will be more difficult to stop. The first thing to remember is to not give in. Next, remove your child from any situation where they have an audience. Then, ignore the behavior for the time being.
Consequences: The Great Equaliser
To stop your child from throwing tantrums, let them know that they will always get told “no” as a consequence of their behaviour. Also, let them know that you won’t respond to any tantrums. If others are present, remove the child from the potential audience so they can’t “perform.”
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