Nothing can make a parent want to misbehave more than an all-out, no holds barred temper tantrum. While it is nice to imagine that there are toddlers in the world who have never indulged in such behavior, the reality is that most parents have to deal with at least one of these astonishing displays, and most will have to deal with many. While gaining control of these unpleasant episodes may not happen instantly, being prepared in advance can help in this ancient battle of the wills. The following tips may be helpful to parents whose toddlers are currently experiencing these moments of spontaneous combustion:
Just a little sleuthing may be all that is necessary to prevent major meltdowns. According to Dr. Barry Sears, children may react negatively when they are bored, hungry, tired, or have received too much stimulation. By tracking the times that a child is most prone to temper tantrums, parents can then develop coping methods that are appropriate. A short nap, a carton of yogurt, or a little attention may be all that is needed to change the unwanted behavior.
Parents tend to think that the actions of their children are a reflection of their parenting skills. This can cause knee-jerk reactions in an attempt to prevent a child from embarrassing them in public. Acting in the same manner as the child will only exacerbate the problem. Parents who maintain a calm demeanor during a child’s tantrum will not only be more successful in stopping it but will also earn the approbation of their peers.
Prepare The Arsenal
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some strategies work quite well for taming a temper tantrum. These include time-out to allow the child to settle and reflect on their behavior, eliminating a privilege that is related to the explosion of temper in some way, or allowing a natural consequence to make the temper tantrum an unpleasant experience.
While all of these suggestions do not work for every temperament, and some are more appropriate at certain ages, they can and will change behavior over time.