Think back to the last tantrum of your kids. What did you do to respond to your child’s tantrum? How was your feeling at that time? I used to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when facing my girl’s tantrum. However, right at those times, I didn’t realize they are the worse ways to respond to tantrums. I hope you Mom will not repeat these 5 bad behaviors like me. If you ever did those things, no matter. You will be much better parents in the future
5 worst ways to respond to your child’s tantrum
Mistake #1: Overreacting/Yelling
This is the number 1 mistake that most parents. And you guys need to know how badly this behavior affects your children. When you yell at your children or yell at them, it’s frightening and confusing to them.
At those sensitive times, your children can’t process anything we are talking while they are so upset. All they can hear is our heavy tone of voice. Isn’t that so bad? That fear and uncertainty make it even more difficult for your kids to calm down and collect themselves. Just always keep in mind that the more we overreact, the more our children can’t calm down.
What to do instead: Keep calm and respond with confidence
How to respond to your child’s tantrum? I know it’s hard, but it is going to be better when we can remain calm and un-phased when our children are upset. Our kids will feel more relaxed when they see that we are confidently in charge. Let them know we are not nervous about their behavior, we are willing to ride out the storm with them.
As our words nearly have no effect when the child is in tantrum-mode, we should wait it out. If you need to speak to them right at that time, try to make your phrases short and to-the-point.
Mistake #2: Saying too much after the tantrum
Many parents tend to repeat too much about old things. Even after the meltdown is over, we still need to keep our explanations short and our teaching brief. If we try to over-talk or go into long lectures, this will create a little play or a drama in our child’s mind over what happened.
What to do instead: Respond at the moment, and move on after the tantrum
How to respond to your child’s tantrum in this situation? You should know that after a tantrum has happened, it’s time to move on. Kids can’t easily reconnect back to what caused them to spiral downward in the first place. That’s why this time is better spent reassuring them that next time it will be better. Your children need to know that you have confidence in their ability to do better the next time.
Mistake #3: Saying nothing
You may hear somewhere that you should ignore the tantrum and your child will not get any attention for the behavior. However, this means you don’t care about them. Sending them away to their rooms lets them think that you can’t handle their feelings.
What to do instead: Stay close to your child, be emotionally available
You should be close to your child, get to eye level with your child. Be willing to stay the course with them. Under those circumstances, you can say something brief that allows your child to know that you are there for them. It’s like: “I’m here when you need me.” Standing by your child is you are comforting to them.
Mistake #4: Shaming them
“Be a big girl”
“Big girls don’t cry”
“Why can’t you be more like your sister.”
Here, one more bad way you guys often do when you respond to your child’s tantrums. As a parent, I know our young children naturally want to please us. They desperately want to be “big”. And it’s sad when we shame them. Shaming our children by reminding them of their inability to live up to our expectations is kicking them while they are down.
Needless to our shame, children themselves feel so much embarrassment and shame when they lose it and have a tantrum. It is not a good experience for them. The kids desire to control their emotions, but they can’t.
What to do instead: Encourage all your child’s feelings
It’s true that we need to set limits and expectations for our children’s behavior. However, kids need to know that all their feelings are okay. Yes! It’s okay to feel sad, frustrated and disappointed. And tantrums are a natural response for those big feelings of disappointment or frustration.
Kids know how small they are, which is why they find the best comfort when their parent’s care is enough to set limits to keep them safe. It’s our child’s tantrums that test our limits. The children need to question how much power they are having. Some kids wonder…What will Mom do if I try this? They might try out any possibility until they are sure that the answer is the same. Now, we must stay consistent. We remind our kids that the answer is always the same, and it’s okay to be sad about it.
Mistake #5: Guilting them
This is one of the worse ways to respond to your child’s tantrum. Just think that shaming a child will surely make them feel powerless and weak. But, what’s worse, guilting your child can make your kids feel far too powerful.
Something we say like “you hurt my feelings” will give our child an unhealthy amount of power and responsibility. By knowing that our children don’t usually have control over their actions when they are in the middle of a meltdown, we need to know that the “guilt” route is not a good approach.
What to do instead: Keep in mind that behavior is communication
We need to understand that your child’s behavior is their way of expressing how they are feeling. Are they tired, hungry, or sad? When you look at your child’s behaviors, you can help them anticipate what they need. For example, if you know your child is hungry, you can say “I can hear your whining voice now. Are you hungry? Over time, your child will be can understand the connection between their emotions and how their body feels.
I hope that with what I’ve shared, you got how to respond to your child’s tantrum. Feel free to leave me a comment to know what you think or share with me your opinion. Thanks so much for your attention!