There are certain things, parents truly dread. Everything was going fine but then suddenly, things change, a slight discomfort and all hell breaks over. A single tantrum can be of catastrophic magnitudes. And you are at a complete loss as to what in the world will help them calm down. Here are some of the quickest ways that will calm your child throwing a tantrum.
Child throws a tantrum as a tactic for gaining attention in the wrong way. The constant annoying is going to get to you and you are eventually going to listen to them. But sometimes, if you are lucky, when you ignore the child loses interest after some time and the tantrum ends then and there. So, try to avoid the situation for as long as it is sanely possible.
Things are going to escalate fast if you also accept their challenge, ‘who has the loudest voice’. That will stop the tantrum but start a shouting match instead. Which is not good in comparison to a tantrum where only one person was shouting. Keep your calm. Don’t accept their invitation to a verbal fight and enter the arena. Things are not going to cool down quickly if you also start yelling and shouting.
No matter how much you are tempted to raise your voice, control. After all you want your child to calm down right? That isn’t going to work if you also say goodbye to the calm you. Some wars are to be won by smartness and not power.
Prevent aggressive behavior immediately
If things escalate fast and one thing leads to another and your child is ready to get violent and damage things, act quickly. Be firm, but not angry. They need to understand that this is not going to get them what they want. Stop them from damaging any stuff.
In case any damage occurs, ask them to repair the damage. Don’t leave them in the dark. Let them know that they aren’t alone but they will need to face the consequences of their tantrum. Help them undo the damage.
Don’t give into irrational demands
When a child understands that a tantrum is going to get them whatever they want, they are not going to stop. They are going to make it their weapon anytime they want to get something. So, don’t give in to any irrational demands. If you do it once, you always do it. It is never going to happen that you give in ‘just this once’. They being your kids does not mean that you need to cater to every whimsy. They need to learn that whenever they are going to be unreasonable, they are not going to be entertained. This will make them more responsible in future. It is going to take a lot of will power but have patience.
The best part of being a kid (in this situation) is that you are distracted by a number of things. This must have been God’s way of blessing the parents with a quick getaway. When you notice that the situation is going south fast, use the gift. Distract them. Change the subject. Remember that the subject needs to be something completely unrelated to the point of the tantrum.
“You are upset because you don’t want to do homework? But look how cute that flower in the garden looks”, is an example of a distraction. This will momentarily confuse them about what is going on and they will turn towards the new interesting thing. This will give them enough moments to calm down. Once they are in their right minds you can actually think about the problem that caused the tantrum.
Let them take it all out
Letting go off some steam is healthy. When there is nothing to lose, let them have the tantrum. Let them get their anger and frustration out. Even adults need to blow off steam, these are just kids. They don’t understand emotions well and how to handle them. Let them feel all these emotions once and for all instead of letting it fester.
Have a talk about what actually bothered them once they are done throwing a tantrum. Help them understand these emotions. Help them to cope with these feelings.
Everybody is angry sometimes and just wants to grab the attention of the entire world just so that they can yell at them. You know the feeling. It is very common in human beings when they are having a bad day. Your kids are also human beings and human beings do have bad days. So, you know that it happens. Empathize with them.
Let them know that you are on their team. Once they are on the verge of a tantrum, try using sentences similar to, ‘I hear you buddy’ or ‘I know the feeling’ or ‘tell me about it’. This will let them know that you are taking their problems seriously. They will calm down once they understand that you get them. Problem solved and tantrum avoided.
Take a time-out
These little hulks and she hulks need some time to become the calm little Bruce Banner. Whenever they are angry and all hope seems to be lost, you need to remove them from the danger zone immediately. Once they are calm enough to listen to you, you can bring them back. The ‘talk’ can come later when the green monster is very far away.
It is dangerous to bring up the teaching session right after the incident. This will wake the recently calmed beast. It’s a tightrope. Tread lightly.