All Children from tiny tots to older “tweens” throw tantrums.
It may be a bedtime or mealtime “battle”, disagreement about chores or a full on fight over homework.
Wether It’s a minor tantrum around the kitchen table from your 2 years old who refuses to have his breakfast or a major public affair at the mall because your teen is asking for yet another expensive electronic gadget, How you as a parent respond will determine if the tantrum escalates and how often history repeats itself in the future.
Working with children from different ages, backgrounds and with different likes and dislikes we at the nursery have mastered the art of defusing potential “Tantrum situations”
Here we share with you few tested and approved technics to become an expert at avoiding the notorious “ supermarket aisle meltdown” all parents fear.
But first let’s start by listing the most common mistakes parents do, that make the situation worst or can even trigger the tantrum.
As far as parenting is concerned one key rule is “ CONSISTENCY”. Being firm one day then giving in the next is one of those parents trap we all have fell into at least once.
Sometimes, we just can’t tolerate the winning and the screaming any longer so we cave in. Unfortunately, this proves to the child that with some persistence he will eventually get you to surrender to his demands.
Sometimes without realizing it parents keep on adding fuel to the fire.
When in response to a temper tantrum we lose our own temper, and physically try to stop the tantrum by restraining or spanking the child, it’s only further proof that the tantrum is a great way to upset us, thus exerting his power.
An while your child may not like the “power reprimand” response , it does serve his goal for seeking power, even if it’s negative power.
Understanding that a temper tantrum is a power-seeking behavior enables parents to stay clear off responding with “power reprimands”. The old adage “ Fight fire with fire “ couldn’t be more wrong in this case, reacting to a child anger with anger will only make the tantrum continue and even escalate.
Trying to be Rational
When we get angry most of us become incapable of “ thinking straight” and this is even more the case with children, who tend to let emotions get the best of them.
This is why reasoning with any child who’s in the midst of a tantrum is either useless or won’t serve the right purpose.
We all have at one time or another tried our best to negotiate a truce with an angry child, at first it sounds something like this “ it’s going to be al right, everything will be okay…..
However after few minutes, realizing that our efforts are gone in vain it usually turns into ”please calm down and you can have ice -cream, if you stop crying we will go to the park, etc.”
The problem with “bribing” your child is that it reinforces the behavior and reassures the child that a tantrum is a very effective strategy to get attention.
First and foremost keep your cool.
As frustrating as temper tantrums can be for parents, you should never loose your cool.
It might sound easier said than done. But it is primordial that you stay in control of your emotions, if you want not only to avoid making a bad situation worst but also to teach your child to control his anger.
Nothing a hug can’t fix
A warm mama bear hug has a very soothing and comforting effect.
The physical closeness facilitates emotional closeness, and creates a safe place for the child to express his feelings.
While in your arms ask him what’s wrong, this will encourage honesty and a will teach your child that there’s a more effective solution to his problem than stomping and screaming.
Observe and assess
A tantrum can be triggered by various reasons, it can be because the child is hungry, restless or sleepy, or he just came back from school and needs to blow off some steam, or maybe he feels ignored and is seeking attention…
See if you can find the origin of the tantrum before jumping to conclusions, watch your child and keep a record of the times they throw a fit.
Understanding the underlying reason that triggered the anger will help you identify the right solutions.
Be the bigger person
Taking the high road and ignoring the tantrum might prove very effective especially when it comes to managing attention seeking behaviors.
It might seem cruel at first to ignore your child in his time of need however it’s important to differentiate between “being in needs” and “being needy”.
If your child acts up just because he wants attention it’s recommended to ignore the tantrum and then spend some quality time with him once he has calmed down.
However paying to much attention will teach him that his strategy works and he will keep on trying it again. In an other hand ignore him and he will eventually get tired of being ignored and stop.
The Deflection Method
Every parents knows how hard it is to get your child to focus on anything, children have
a short attention span.
When it comes to temper fits you can use your child short attention span to your advantage.
Instead of giving in, change the subject, find something new to talk about that might interest your child, and distract him from whatever he was upset about.
Adopt the Wisdom of the Sunnah
It’s never too early to start teaching your child the right behavior to adopt when afflicted with anger.
Continuously remind your child that the Prophet (pbuh) stated that a strong person is not one who is good at fighting, rather a strong person is one who could control his anger (Bukhari).
Remind your child to remain silent when he feels angry to avoid saying hurtful things.
Teach him to say “I SEEK REFUGE IN ALLAH FROM SATAN THE OUTCAST!” Instead of whining and screaming.
Teach him that changing position, will help calm down as advised by the Messenger of Allah when he said (pbuh):
“If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down, so that his anger will go away. If it does not go away, let him lie down.”(Ahmad)
Teach your child that whenever he’s angry performing the ablutions is an effective way to cool down.
In conclusion, it’s evident that temper tantrums can be stressful for parents but learning to deal with them can make them a lot easier to experience.
Share your advices with us.