My kids are such sweet angles. But as with every child, there is a time when their less than sweet side comes out, i.e. a temper tantrum. Over the years I have learned a few tricks that have helped me resolved them a little quicker and what works and what didn’t. I am sure if you have a child, then you know exactly what I am talking about when I say shopping meltdown. You are halfway done with your shopping trip and your child starts freaking out, for an obvious reason or not so obvious, but you feel like just bagging it, grabbing your kid and walking out. I know I have been there more times than I like to admit…but distraction has proved to be my ally most of the time.
If you can find something to distract your child away from what they are throwing their temper tantrum about, then you will win every time Say they want candy, but you don’t want them to have candy and so they come unglued. Instead of arguing about them not having candy, we compromise. I tell them that we can’t have candy, but they can help me pick out a yummy cake for dessert and help me make it when we get home. I continue to tell them that they can help me mix it and frost the cake, and they stop thinking about the candy and start looking forward to what they get to do.
Aside from distraction, I also think it is healthy from them to simply work it out. I don’t tolerate hitting, throwing or breaking things, but if they are just laying on the floor crying, or screaming or whatever, then most of the time I will just ignore it and within a few minutes they will realize they are not getting anywhere and stop. This helps them learn that this kind of behavior doesn’t work to get them what they want, and it also helps them learn to control their emotions.
If they are older, I like to talk to them about how to deal with their anger or frustration and how they can work to resolve it like “an adult”. Of course even I have had a “temper tantrum”, this helps them to realize that it is normal to feel this way, but then I also have to talk to them about my actions and we both learn something.
One thing I find most important that I have learned is that you can’t belittle them, call them names, or make threats. This teaches them very bad habits, and they get a low self esteem. It is important to act “like and adult” in times of pressure and stress, because your kids will surely act like you do. They learn quickly and pick up things you don’t even realize.