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Taming Temper Tantrums

Temper tantrums are never ever fun.

By
Cherylyn Feierabend,
November 28, 2008
Episode #003

Hey there!  You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. Today’s topic:  I Want it My Way! Tips for dealing with Temper Tantrums

Temper tantrums are never ever fun! I’ve experienced my fair share and here are some tantrum stoppers that have worked for me.

My favorite tip for calming irrational children is simply to blow bubbles with them. It is a bit of a sneaky trick but works wonders. If you are the parent of a small child, chances are you have bubbles and a bubble wand somewhere. If you don’t, then you should.

Bubbles work well for two reasons: First of all, kids love bubbles. Floating bubbles will almost always distract a child. Once distracted, hand the bubble wand over to the child or hold it out for them. Take turns blowing bubbles. Blowing bubbles causes you and your child to take deep breaths and then blow out air. Whenever we are upset about something we are told to take a deep breath to help calm us down. Bubbles create that effect for both parent and child in this situation. Chances are you’ll feel better as well. Feel free to blow bubbles on your own anytime you are feeling stressed about something. Keep in mind that if you are stressed out and feel like having a tantrum yourself, your child can sense this and it could bring them over the edge with you. Blow some bubbles and stay calm.
 

My next tip is acknowledgment. Position yourself at your child’s eye level. Talk to him directly. Let him know that you hear what he is saying. You may have to repeat it back to him several times until he hears you. He will appreciate that you are acknowledging his frustration. Your child will most likely still  be angry, but at least he won’t feel ignored. This will sometimes take the edge off of the tantrum. While this method is generally more successful with older children, I have seen it work wonders with toddlers as well. Very often children just want to be heard.

Once your child has calmed down and is ready to listen to you for a moment, be sure to talk to him about his behavior. Let him know how you want him to communicate, and that its easier for you to understand and help if everyone remains calm. Negative behavior is not going to get him what he wants, so he needs to ask properly and respect mommy or daddy’s decision. This might sound like an advanced conversation to have with your child, but this is a great way to teach your child how to speak to someone with respect and understanding.  You are teaching by modeling the behavior you would like to see from your child.

One thing I’ve heard many times, and I’ve repeated many more, is “choose your battles.” You don’t have to win every argument just because you are the parent. Some parents are so scared that if they give in just one time, their child will just be worse the next. I don’t believe this to be true. Even as adults things don’t always go the way we want them to, but we do still get what we want fairly often. Children should understand that it's okay to ask for what they want, and they will learn that sometimes it will happen and sometimes it won’t. This is something to be learned through these type of experiences.

That’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed listening. Good luck keeping those tantrums to a minimum!


This is your friend, the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!

Music – “Golly Gee” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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