If you’re a parent, it’s a guarantee you’ve witnessed your own share of temper tantrums. But often, parents just aren’t sure how to deal with temper tantrums.
Do you ignore your child?
Do you punish them?
Do you put them in time out?
So let’s get down to one of the toughest jobs of parenting — how to deal with temper tantrums!
Be sure to check out even more of my helpful parenting tips, too!
How To Deal With Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums are normal occurrences when dealing with children.
However, just because they are normal, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are acceptable.
Yes, kids need to be able to express themselves, but they also need to learn how to positively express themselves.
Following these few suggestions, you can learn how to deal with kids’ temper tantrums.
Time and Place
You need to understand that children will always have a temper tantrum at the most inopportune time and in the most embarrassing place, just to make sure they cause a stir. (Murphy’s Law at work?)
How you react may have to depend on where you are at the moment of the breakdown, but the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks of your parenting skills.
If your child learns that you will never react in public, or in front of grandma and grandpa, you can rest assured that those are the exact places where he or she will begin throwing their tantrums.
How To Deflect The Powers Of Temper Tantrum
Your child may see you as a super hero, but it’s only because he knows your only weaknesses are his mighty tantrums.
Here are a few ways to “fight” back:
Even if you’re in a store, walk away (while keeping within eyesight) and go about what you need to do without even batting an eye.
If there is no reaction on your part, there is no need for an action on their part.
If your child begins to stomp and cry, you should begin to stomp and cry.
If they throw themselves on the floor, copy their every move.
This can create a couple of responses from your child.
They can feel heard and understood and calm down.
They can start to laugh and forget why they were crying.
Or, depending on your child’s age, be completely embarrassed seeing what a tantrum looks like.
Leave to Reset
This could mean putting your child in another area for a specific amount of time to calm down or totally leaving the area where the tantrum is taking place.
I’m not a fan of time-outs… instead we call them resets, because really, you’re teaching your child they need to have a moment to reset.
If you are in the check out line at a store, apologize to the teller, leave your cart and escort your child out of the store.
Trust me, I’ve abandoned my share of shopping carts at Target.
You can always get your groceries later that day, but no one, including you, should have to suffer the fits of an angry child.
Children have tantrums because they are not yet mature enough to understand how to express their needs.
As they grow, tantrums should become less and less of an issue.
Work closely with your child to be able to understand their emotions and convey those.
Check out these awesome books about anger (for kids and parents)!
But tantrums in children over the age of five should be unacceptable.
If a child is old enough to read or write, then they are old enough to know how to behave and express themselves in a positive manner.
One thing I should note is there is an extreme difference between a temper tantrum and an honest-to-goodness meltdown.
A temper tantrum is when the child is upset but interacting with you, telling you they’re mad or nonverbally reacting to what you’re saying.
A meltdown is when the child literally has no control and isn’t able to respond to you.
If your child is experiencing regular meltdowns, it’s time to consider what’s happening that is sending your child in a fight or flight mode and work to help them address it.
For more ideas on how to deal with temper tantrums, consider the following affiliate links:
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I have completely done 2 of these. When it comes to the mimicking, I haven’t thrown myself on the floor, but I should definitely try it. Monkey Boy can really push my buttons and I’m working harder and harder to walk away and set a limit – no yelling at me, no kicking or hitting, etc. I’ve lost it too many times to count, as I can struggle with managing myself when there’s loud chaos. Yet, I’m constantly working to do better. 🙂
I’ve tried what you have mentioned in the recent past and it doesn’t work.NY 8 yr old son will attempt to hit me or tell at the top of his lungs STOP STOP IT I SAID!!!!!! Until I finally stop copying him what do I do? I always am firm and tell him he never ever hits mommy or his sister’s for any reason nd then he will cry/scream/ plead for wht it is he wants in the same tone
Mommy Evolution says
When my son got older, I would have him go to his room as a safe space – not as a punishment but until he was able to calm himself down and reset himself so he could manage and/or talk about what was sending him over the edge.