Stomping the Tantrum

If your child throws tantrums, rest assured you are not alone.  Most toddlers throw a tantrum at one time or another.  But when this becomes an all too frequent scenario, the situation can quickly become overwhelming for any parent or caregiver.  The (distant!) consolation is that most children tend to outgrow this by the age of 4 or 5.  But how can you manage to live through these frightening scenes…right here and now?

Yelling at your child will only end up upsetting him or her even more.   Resorting to bribery is not the answer either – it only encourages your child to misbehave so that he or she can get a reward!  The most important thing is to try to calm your child down.  Depending on the age of your child and the level of the meltdown, there are a few ways to accomplish this.

1) Divert your child:  You can create a diversion by trying to engage your child’s attention with other objects or toys.  This option is especially helpful at the onset of a tantrum…

2) Ignore your child:  Admittedly, this sounds a bit neglectful but is necessary to XXX.

3) Give your child some room:  You can provide a safe place for your child to vent his or her anger.  This generally needs to occur in a setting where there are no objects that could be potentially harmful to the child.

4) Hug your child:  Although you do not condone your child’s behavior, you can still hug him or her to let them know that you still care about them and want to make them feel safe and secure.

Once the meltdown is over and your child has calmed down, you will need to talk to your child and let him or her know that being angry is alright, but losing control is not.   You should also encourage your child to come to you before he or she gets angry.  Together, you can help him or her solve whatever problem at hand without letting the situation get out of control – that’s what parents are for!

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