Our instinct is to rise above it. Sometimes you need to but not always.
We do need a strategy for when a tantrum strikes. A strategy presumes then that you’ve tried many different ways and you have something now that works for you and your family. What works for one doesn’t always work for another. Even the same thing doesn’t always work for siblings or the same child all the time. Don’t let that stop you from finding something that works. Having a bunch of different ideas about how to work through this outburst is super helpful- as not all outbursts are created equal.
When a tantrum or outburst starts I feel that time has stopped. If I don’t do that then in my haste to get it over with leads to bad decision making, hopefully you’re better than me at that. What I do next will shape how long and loud this outburst may last?
Change my voice. Modify my tone. Take a deep breath. Check my surroundings not for watching eyes but for safety ( Is it only my child that throws down in the worst places?)
Lean in and get a little softer.
“What is it you want?”
There are all sorts of other things I do afterwards and during that time but these words have helped us the most. I don’t always understand what they are saying but the act of saying those words over time has lead them to slow down and tell us. They point. They lead. They stare. Sometimes you get nothing but the raw emotion and a hug is all that will help. Our calmness and body language models for them.
…..Playtime with your little one who always throws tantrums or outbursts is not fun for them or you. It’s hard to even want to be around your child when they act like this. Stepping back after an event and seeing if there’s anything that can be done to prevent that type of outburst again is a step in the right direction to more playful times.
More reading: Helping children cope with anger
If tantrums and outbursts are a problem for you- seek professional advice.
Click here to read the rest of the posts in the series, 31 Days to a more Playful Tot.
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