The easiest way to stop a tantrum is to give the child what he wants. Obviously, that approach won’t do you any good in the long run, because your child will constantly go into tantrum mode whenever he wants something. This simply implies there’s no shortcut or time saving method out of tantrums. You just have to face it. If you’re trying to escape from your difficulties, you should know there never is any escape from difficulties, never. They have to be faced and fought.
A fear of weakness only strengthens weakness.
When tantrums occur, resist the temptation to end them by giving your child what he wants. For outbursts that aren’t dangerous, the goal is to ignore the behavior. Even negative attention like reprehension or trying to persuade him to stop has been found to positively reinforce the behavior. During the kicking-and-screaming chaos of the moment, tantrums can be downright frustrating. For children between 1 and 2, tantrums often starts from trying to communicate a need—more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there—but not having the language skills to do it. They get frustrated when you don’t respond to what they’re saying and throw a fit. For older toddlers, tantrums are more of a power struggle. “By the time kids are 3 or 4, they have grown more sovereign. They’re keenly aware of their needs and desires—and want to assert them more. If you don’t comply? Tantrum galore!! But instead of looking at them as disasters or frustration, treat tantrums as opportunities for education.
Ways to manage tantrum in kids
In managing tantrums, you must understand and identify its triggers. For example, your child might throw tantrums when you’re shopping. You might be able to plan ahead or change the environment to avoid tantrums. You can help yourself by shopping after your child has had a nap. For most toddlers , tantrums are simply a way of getting out their frustration and testing limits (Will mommy buy me that candy if I scream really loud?). To tame child tantrum ,these methods can be applicable;
- Keep your voice down: The first step to tame a tantrum is to keep your own temper in check. Stay calm (or pretend to!). Take a moment for yourself if you need to. If you get angry, it’ll make the situation harder for both you and your child. If you need to speak at all, keep your voice calm and level, and act deliberately and slowly. You’re not going to get anywhere with your child if both of you are screaming at each other. Take a deep breath, gain control over your emotions, and then discipline your child by calmly but firmly letting him know that tantrums are not acceptable behavior. Your child will only end up matching your volume if you raise your voice because she wants to talk or probably engage you.
- Communicate with your toddler: This is where tantrum routes out from; your kid trying to communicate a need to you. Children under-2-and-a-half usually have a vocabulary of only about 50 words and can’t link more than two together at a time. Their communication is limited, yet they have all these thoughts and wishes and needs to be met. When you don’t get the message or misunderstand, they freak out to release their frustration. Usually, they want you to pay attention and give them what they want. You don’t just lash out at your child because you want him to keep quiet. You are also teaching him to use this means to communicate to you. Don’t underestimate his ability to understand what you are saying. Tell him the plan for the day and stick to your routine to minimize surprises. Explain to him why he can’t have what he wants with patience but not at the peak of the tantrum. Sometimes,it doesn’t mean the tantrum will stop but you’re teaching your child to communicate in a right way. Teach her some words in sign language, but if she wants something like a movie, she won’t know how to ask for it— and still freaks out. So you can say, ‘Show me what you want,’ and then see if she’ll point to it. It’s not always obvious, but with a little time and practice you begin to communicate better.
- Acknowledge what your child needs without giving in: Make it clear that you understand what he’s after. “I see that you want my attention. When your brother is done talking, it’ll be your turn.” Then help him see there’s a more appropriate behavior that will work. “When you’re done yelling, tell me calmly that you’re ready for my time.
- Empathize with your kid: This helps take some of the edge off the tantrum, and then play sleuth. Through this approach, your child also learns empathy. If he points to his older brother, for example, that usually means that he’s snatched something away from him, and you can ask him to give it back or probably get it back. Also, tune in to your child’s feelings. If you’re aware of your child’s feelings, you might be able to sense when big feelings are on the way. You can talk about what’s going on and help your child manage difficult feelings.
- Ignore the attitude : You can ignore him unless he is physically endangering himself or others. By taking away your attention completely, you won’t reinforce his undesirable behavior. Walk out of the room and check on him in few minutes. If your child starts hitting, kicking, biting, or throwing things during tantrum, stop him immediately and remove him from the situation. Make it clear that hurting others is not acceptable.
- Give little independence: Give your toddler a little bit of control. Let your child choose which book to bring in the car or whether she wants peanut or candy. These little choices won’t make much of a difference to you, but they’ll make your child feel as though she has at least some control over her own life.
- Embrace your child: If your child is upset to the point of being inconsolable or out of control, hold him tightly to calm him down. Tell him gently that you love him but that you’re not going to give him what he wants. You can give him a hug without saying anything. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their attitude. This approach also works for adult during emotional breakdown.
- Offer food or suggest sleep: Trust me, being tired and hungry are the two biggest tantrum triggers. Make sure your child is well rested and fed before you go out so he doesn’t blow up at the slightest provocation. Feed them, and let them drink enough water,they can use a nap-time– whether that means putting them to bed or letting them sleep themselves.” Think how stressed and easily irritated you get when you miss out on sleep. With young kids, who have greater sleep and food needs, the effect is magnified.
- Create a distraction: A young child’s attention is fleeting and easy to divert. When your child’s face starts to crinkle and redden in that telltale way, open a book or offer to go on a walk before it can escalate into a full-blown tantrum. Sometimes, humor is the best way to distract. Make a funny face, tell a joke, or start a pillow fight to get your child’s mind off what’s upsetting him. Children have pretty short attention spans—which means they’re usually easy to divert. And it always helps if you sound really, really psyched when you distract them. It gets their mind off the tantrum and on to the next thing that much faster.”
- Give some space: “Sometimes a kid just needs to get his anger and frustration out. So let him!” . (Just make sure there’s nothing in tantrum’s way that could hurt him.) This approach helps children learn how to vent in a nondestructive way. They’re able to get their feelings out, pull themselves together, and regain self-control — without engaging in a yelling match or battle of wills with you.” This trick can work on its own or alongside with the ignoring process.
- Don’t give in: If your child still won’t calm down and you know the tantrum is just a ploy to get your attention, don’t give in. Even if you have to walk through the supermarket dragging your screaming toddler, just ignore the tantrum. It is easier said then done, but stick to your guns and eventually the duration will lessen and she will know you are serious and this is not going to work. Once your child realizes the tantrum isn’t getting her anywhere, she’ll stop screaming.
- Be consistent: If you sometimes give your child what she wants when she has tantrums and you sometimes don’t, the problem could get worse. If you’re saying no, let it be ‘no’. Don’t say ‘no’ to giving in to tantrum today and say ‘yes’ to it tomorrow. It just makes your child confused about how to communicate his/her needs.
Conclusively, accept that you can’t control your child’s emotions or behaviour directly. You can only keep your child safe and guide your child’s behaviour so tantrums are less likely to happen in the future. You must understand your kids and know which approach works for them. Also know that it takes time for change to happen. Your child has a lot of growing up to do before tantrums are gone totally. Developing and practising self-regulation skills is a life-long task. Be patient!!!