Dealing with your kiddo’s temper tantrums is an inevitable yet extremely challenging part of parenthood. Anything could trigger one! Simply telling your child, “Hey, you can’t have this toy” kicks off a hurricane of emotional turmoil, complete with whining, wailing, stomping and flailing…
Stopping short of completely caving in to your little dictator’s demands, what’s the best way for parents to navigate these impossibly frustrating situations? By keeping your cool.
Yes, even if your child is kicking up a storm in a very public area, and you’re on the brink of your own meltdown, remember that the best response is to stay calm – not unleashing your frustrations or yelling back at them. Your child is already experiencing intense emotions, and you’re the only one who can guide them through. Keep your cool and ride it out.
Here are helpful ways you can do so:
#1 Accept that it is happening
Every parent knows when their child is about to lose it. Instead of getting panicked over warning signs, take some time to completely accept that this meltdown is happening. Know that temper tantrums are healthy and normal for young children, and that at the end of the day, is an opportunity to connect emotionally with your kid.
#2 Find your happy place
Instead of addressing the tantrum right away, take a few deep breaths and envision things that bring you joy. Focus on drawing positive and relaxing energy – it’ll help you stay calm as you handle the situation.
#3 Adopt a soothing demeanour
Tempting as it is to raise your voice, trying to talk over a screaming toddler will be a futile attempt. Instead, use a calm and soft voice to acknowledge your little one’s feelings. Don’t try to reason or lecture your child either because no toddler will be listening whilst in the midst of a meltdown. Keep the long talk till after they have calmed down.
#4 Go on timeout
For long drawn out tantrums where you can’t help but get angry despite your best efforts, going on a self-imposed time out will do wonders. If you can’t remove yourself from the situation physically, take a few moments to regroup mentally. View the situation from a neutral bystander’s point of view, and understand that toddlers throw tantrums as a way to release big emotions and express their displeasure about the current circumstances. Your job is to help your child learn how to calm down, so take the pressure off yourself!