Dealing with tantrums
Why is it that tantrums seem to come out of nowhere, and for such silly reasons? Like demanding that Mom brushes their teeth instead of Dad, refusing to change out of their princess dress when it’s pouring rain outside, or demanding they get to play on the iPad. NOW.
As parents, we’re hoping for a quick solution.
What parents tend to do, but what often doesn’t work, is:
❌ Asking questions: “What’s going on?”
❌ Trying to appease: “Ah, well, it’s not that bad, is it?”
❌ Giving advice: “If you talk like that, I really can’t understand you!”
The good news about all this is that tantrums are a completely normal and healthy behavior in kids. They’re an essential part of a child’s development. Children still need to learn how to regulate their emotions and communicate when things don’t go the way they want. That’s why they scream, cry, and hit us when they’re angry – they just haven’t yet learned that this kind of response isn’t acceptable.
So, what can you do during a tantrum?
✅ Keep calm, and they’ll calm down too. Some children like to get a comforting hug, others prefer their space. Either way, stay close and let your child know that their feelings are valid and you are willing to help them understand their feelings.
✅ Guide your child in expressing his feelings but do not go along with them.
✅ Keep it safe: If your child is hitting/kicking others around them, make it clear that you are there for your child’s safety and yours: “I can’t let you hit me and hurt yourself. Show how angry you are by stamping on the ground.” Later, at a quieter time, you can reiterate the rules and limits of expressing anger.