Tantrum Control (if this is even possible)

June 04, 2012

My son seems to have such the range of emotions theses days. Just last night he had an emotional (is there any other kind?) fit over his Spiderman tee, his obsession with Spidey has reach new heights. When Spidey isn’t dominating our evening it could be anything from I didn’t quite understand the sentence he just said or didn’t respond in an efficient manner to a request (more like demand.) This is met by an outburst, he is quick to issue an apology or declare love after an episode, however they can be quite exasperating for the entire family. I am trying to understand this range of emotion as his independence grows and confuses him and frankly his mother. I try to remain calm and wait out the tantrums, other times I have to simply leave the room. Below are some tips and links that have been helpful in tantrum control, if there is such a thing!

Avoiding tantrums

With some forward thinking it’s possible to cut down tantrums or make then less overwhelming.

  • Set a good example - if they see you flying into a rage at the slightest provocation, it will be much harder for them to learn to control their own strong feelings.
  • Give plenty of praise - encourage good behaviour by praising it.
  • Look for signs - most children give plenty of warning they’re getting cross, so be ready to step in and divert their attention elsewhere
  • Offer control and choices - it’s irritating for children to feel they don’t have a say or can’t make decisions, so provide choices whenever possible.

If the above doesn’t  work and a tantrum kicks off, here are suggestion on ways you can soothe your child.

  • Keep calm - it really makes a difference.
  • Divert her - it’s sometimes possible to distract a toddler before the tantrum really gets started.
  • Ignore the behaviour - sometimes, walking away and pretending to take no notice of a tantrum can cool things down (but this is unlikely to work once a tantrum’s in full flow).
  • Hold your child close and talk quietly and calmly to her - occasionally, this can make matters worse.
  • Time out - if you feel you’re about to lose your temper too, put your child somewhere safe where you can leave her, although this tactic should only be with children over 18 months old and not for longer than two minutes. 

Once a tantrum blows over, don’t go on about it. Cuddle and make up.

Links I found helpful:

Tantrum Threes worse then terrible twos via Babble

How To Handle Your Child’s Tantrum via Wikihow

Tips via BBC Parenting