Behavior Guide

How to deal with temper tantrums

Temper tantrums are bouts of uncharacteristic emotional and physical behavior, that are commonly seen in children and toddlers and children below 14 years of age. Temper tantrums involve unruly behavior such as screaming, throwing things, rolling on the floor and wailing, till the child gets what he or she desires. There are many ways to deal with temper tantrums.

Remain calm and objective

When a child throws a temper tantrum, the first thing you should remember is not to lose your temper. Be calm and patient; approach the situation tactfully and objectively. The child will get into worse tantrums if you too get into a fit of rage. Being calm and collected allows you to assess the situation and then come up with a tactful approach to deal with the temper tantrums. Your patience and calm attitude will rub in to your child and he or she may come out of the tantrum faster than otherwise. They say, it takes two to clap. So, if you do not react in a similar manner, the child will realize that he or she cannot succeed in shaking your feathers.

Distract the child’s attention

Try your best to distract the child. Redirect his or her attention to something that is interesting to his or her liking. The younger children can easily be distracted, but the older children may require some amount of tact to waver their attention towards other areas. You can show the younger child something outside the house that is good enough to buy his or her attention, such as a puppy or a crow. Children are fascinated by animals and this ploy works wonderfully in toddlers and kids below five years of age. In older children, you can show them their favorite cartoon characters or heroes. Create imaginary situations where the child could meet his or her favorite characters. This is a surefire way to bring the child’s attention away from what he desperately wanted earlier. He may even forget what he was demanding for a short while. By the time he remembers, he would have come out of his temper tantrum and be more understanding to your way of thinking. The child will be ready to listen to you, as to why he or she cannot get what he or she wants.

Apply prompt discipline

Applying prompt discipline in a non violent manner can bring down the degree of temper in many children. Just a stern look or a strict admonishing will send the message across that the child is not behaving in a proper manner. Many counselors recommend giving them a “time out” to come out of their temper tantrum. This works well especially when you have taken your toddlers to a public venue and the child begins to throw a temper tantrum. You need not lose your temper or get frustrated. Tell the child that he or she would get just a minute to come out of it. Discipline does not mean punishing the child. Do not resort to punishment as this approach will make the child more stubborn and irritable. You should make sure to draw a line between discipline and punishment.

Do not give in to their demands

Parents or care takers should be aware of the fact that temper tantrums are sometimes thrown to test your limits and check whether you would give in to their demands. Once the child knows that he or she will succeed in getting their way, he or she will be encouraged to repeat this behavior. Many kids know that adults give in to their demands in a public place such as supermarkets or grocery stores. You need to be well controlled of your soft nature and not give in to their demands even once. Temper tantrums tend to become a habit if you are not careful at the very beginning. In fact, your right approach to the child’s behavior goes a long way in shaping the child’s personality.

Pacify and explain the right approach

Once the child is out of the temper tantrum, you can sit and explain that what he or she was doing was not right. You can even video graph it in older children’s case and show them how ugly the scene looked when they were in a fit of temper. Very often, the child understands and feels ashamed oh his or her behavior and takes care that he/she does not repeat it again. You can create a story in which a similar child had fits of temper tantrums and what he/she had lost due to his or her unruly behavior. If tackled in the right manner, temper tantrums can easily become a thing of the past for your child.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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