Even though parents may try as hard as possible to avoid tantrums, sometimes they are inevitable. Part of being a parent involves moments in the grocery store with your child kicking and screaming in front of a live audience. There may be moments when you want to roll on the ground and kick and scream yourself. However, it’s vital that you keep your cool. Losing your patience along with your child won’t get you anywhere.
Therefore, in order to help you handle these stressful outbursts from your toddlers, here are some tips to get you through.
It’s essential that you stay as calm as possible during the tantrum. In some cases, losing your patience could even be dangerous. For example, if you’re driving and try to discipline your screaming toddler simultaneously, you could get into an accident.
Therefore, in order to stay calm, one of the best methods is to breathe. By practicing deep breathing exercises, you’ll calm your body down and lower your heart rate.
Calmly express yourself and tell them that their behavior is unacceptable. When handling anger, your instinct may be to yell, but this is counterproductive.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take a Minute
If you feel like you’re going to lose your cool and potentially do something you’ll regret later, don’t be afraid to walk away for a moment. Assuming your child isn’t in an unsafe position where they could be harmed, it’s ok to take a minute for yourself to calm down.
In doing so, you may even find that your screaming toddler calms down. When they see they aren’t getting a reaction, often, it leads to the end of their tantrum.
For younger toddlers, you may want to consider distracting them entirely. Trying to reason with a very young child in the middle of a meltdown is often hopeless. However, in some cases, you can avert the tantrum entirely but focusing their attention on something else.
Point out something they like, or get them engaged in a new activity. Their attention spans can be quite short. Therefore, offering a distraction will often result in them forgetting about what they were upset about in the first place.
Enforce A Time Out
A time out helps to remove the child from their source of anger. Take them to a quiet corner or chair and tell them that they have to remain there for as long as you say. Most experts recommend no longer than 5 minutes.
During this time, they may protest, or scream, but aggression of any kind should not be tolerated. Once they have completed their time out, then you can ask if they’re ready to be done. Usually, they will say yes, and you can talk about their outburst and why they got a time-out. Over time, they should learn that bad behavior has consequences.