Parenting Tips to Manage Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Kids Acting OutJuly 10, 2023 2023-07-10 12:04
Parenting Tips to Manage Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Kids Acting Out
How to deal with temper tantrums and meltdowns
Here are some tips to handle those meltdowns.
Pay attention to and reward good behaviour
Ignore the tantrum
Redirect instead of saying No or saying something negative
Validate your kiddo’s feelings
Model the calm behaviour yourself
Give them some control through the power of two
Choose your battles wisely
The adage, “Pick your battles wisely” is one that will help us manoeuvre through our life smoothly with fewer frictions. Consider your kid’s request and keep an open mind. Is what they are asking or refusing so outrageous? Will it take just very little time, effort, or energy on your part to comply with what they have set their hearts on? Give in once in a way; it's ok to lose sometimes in the trivial stuff!
Understand your child’s tantrum triggers
Understanding what triggers your child may help avoid a possible tantrum situation. The easy ones are hunger and sleep. Do not plan a party right during the child’s afternoon nap. If you know going to the grocery store may not be to the kid’s liking, you could possibly pack his favourite toy or snacks to handle the situation better.
Prepare them beforehand, for instance, if you have just bought them a new toy the month before, you could tell them firmly that you aren't going to get them any toy. Perhaps, you could give them something to look forward to, like “Can we play with the blocks after the shopping is done?” so that you can wrap up your shopping in peace.
For some kids, it's bedtime. For some, it's bath time that can be a cause of great frustration. Do something fun to make the bathtime ritual more appealing. The same goes for the bedtime routine too. Plan something the kid will love, like reading a good book before bed. Even something as small as clearing up their toys before going to the playground can cause some kids to act out. If they resist, be firm and refuse that you are not going to budge unless they are done putting their toys away.
But be firm, consistent and do not cave in; otherwise, you can expect the tantrum to happen repeatedly.
It's hard enough for the little ones when they are overwhelmed with big feelings like frustration, anger, irritability, fear, anxiety or shame. But it's important to remember that they are not doing it on purpose or to manipulate you into getting what they want.
What’s important is to help them through their tantrum without blowing our top and making things a whole lot worse. Address the root cause of the tantrum, ease them through it and equip them to handle their strong emotions better. Your child(ren) will thank you for it!
Oftentimes, your kid will feel shame, because they know they have been exhibiting less than desirable behaviours. Keep all emotions out of it, maintain your cool and do not react negatively no matter how tough it may be.
Once the tantrum has passed, don’t make them feel worse or reprimand them - there’s every chance the tantrum can happen all over again. Or your child may feel guilty or ashamed. If you want to say something positive, keep it short and constructive. A warm hug will reassure them that no matter what, you have their back, have their best interests at heart, and you love them.