I get asked a lot about this, how do I handle my child’s tantrums and how do I deal with her when she’s having one? I also get the “what can I do to stop it” question, which I will probably talk about in a later post.
For this post however, I chose to share some of the things that worked with me in my family, with my friends and some of the advocates of peaceful parenting I’ve been in touch with. I want to start with the prevention techniques, I call them that because they have helped me in most case prevent tantrums/meltdowns from happening;
Be Conscious; Notice what triggers your child in his/her daily routine, is it something they eat, a certain lighting, a certain thing that you do or someone else does – whatever it is noted down and try not to do it again. When my daughter was 1, she use to get a nervous breakdown out of hearing the hairdryer, noticing that made me avoid a lot of tantrums to come and later as she grew up I even noticed more and more how sensitive she was to laud sounds.
Prepare them; If they meltdown every time you’re leaving the park or leaving the house or going “to do” anything; maybe it is a signal for you to prepare them for it before it happens. Let them know every few minutes that your leaving in 2 minutes, and then that you’re leaving in 1 minutes and afterwards few seconds. That way they know what is coming their way
Be Prepared yourself; A great thing I learned, is to walk around with a selection of toys. Especially with younger kids this works wonderfully. Don’t take all the toys out at once, one at a time so each would take enough time to wonder the child & keep them busy. For a little older kid, like my daughter I prepare games, or discussion that we’ll have together all the way, or let bring her ipad or a book to read. That way she would be engaged and not bored and hence no scene will be necessary.
Be fun; this works with all ages, and it even works with my hubby sometimes. Being fun and playful in a stressful situation is always a great way to ease stress within the family. So you’re kids are going to meltdown because you’re switching off the TV, do it in a fun engaging way and let them know something else is waiting for them to do. Or if they want to listen to the song one more time, come along and sing it to them, then ask them to sing it- now let them write it down or act it or draw it. That usually works
Give them tools; teach your child, through story telling, reading books or pictures or drawing what to do when they have big emotions or when there’s a conflict or when they just want to express themselves. A walk, a deep breathe, to walk away, to say a specific statement “I don’t like this”. Doing so will prepare your child to when things come up to use these tools instead of just melting down.
So these are my secrets, what are yours? Please share with me in the comments sections. And if you enjoyed the post please share it and like it. Thanks!
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Marwa Advocates for freedom, peace, and building compassionate homes.