Handling a child’s tantrums can be frustrating for parents – it could range from whining, screaming, crying, kicking and so on. Tantrums are not restricted to one gender – most often, children outgrow them by the time they are 4 years of age. Parents get the opportunity to teach children how to exercise control and verbalize their feelings – tantrums are an opportunity to educate.
There are many ways to deal with tantrums – avoidance is the best policy. If not, here are a few strategies for parents:
Lack of attention: It is a fact that children sometimes act up and throw tantrums to get their parents’ attention. Giving them attention at times like these only serves to reinforce bad behavior.
Control: Giving youngsters control and choices is a good way to keep them from throwing tantrums. Frame the questions in such a way that they pick what they would like to do in a positive manner.
Distraction: Children usually have a short attention span – starting a new activity or changing the environment will usually make them forget what they were upset about.
Putting things out of sight: Some valuable and dangerous items should be kept out of reach so that the child cannot hurt themselves.
Setting them up for success: Offer the child toys or games which will help them to learn new things before moving on to bigger challenges.
Considering Requests: If the child makes a reasonable request, then accommodate their wishes. It is a good idea to pick the battles so that the child will listen and do what they are told.
If the child’s safety is in question, make sure that a particular behavior is not repeated – time outs are a good idea. Consistency is the key in dealing with tantrums and children should understand that good behavior is not an option – it is required to get along with others.