Now that my daughter will almost be 4 Years Old in January, what seemed very happy in the parenting land is fast changing and it is paving the way in for some Temper Tantrums. These show up just anywhere…from a mall to a restaurant to a departmental store and even the house. Just yesterday when we were passing from a cake shop, Renny saw a shoe-shaped cake and the temper tantrum began….so it was a sweet request for the cake, followed by an order and it then went on to be a cry, followed by a full crying meltdown. Obviously, I had to read up on the topic and do my own research on how to control these and here the 5 ways in which I am dealing with these.
It’s a Power Struggle
I have often noticed that these Temper Tantrums are a result of a Power Struggle, Your Preschooler(3-4 Year Old kid) is often trying to say that he/she should be heard and their wishes should be fulfilled. They are trying to prove that they are important. So the way in which I try to address this struggle is by giving them enough power but not so much that they begin to overpower us. So when the meltdown begins I often say things like..”This is not how a good girl behaves right? We cant buy that thing for you today but you will definitely get it soon” This communicates the right message to the kid that his/her demands are heard but they cannot be immediately fulfilled.
Ignorance is sometimes bliss
When your kid is having a Temper Tantrum, he/she is out of their mind and they are not in a position to understand anything. Their emotions have completely taken over and hence ignoring them while they cry their lungs out is a great message that this kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated. Maybe it would be a good idea to explain them later that their behaviour wasn’t right and this is not how a good person behaves. Trust me that kids understand a lot than what we think they do.
Create a Diversion
While this worked for me with a 2 and 3-year old, I guess this method unless used very intelligently would stop working as your kid starts understanding and getting older. So for a 2 to 3-year-old, these diversions can mean some kind of activities that you can carry in your purse on the go or some kind of a candy bar which is generally reserved for moments like these but with an older kid, while completely avoiding the tantrum causing stimuli can be difficult, catching it early on is a great idea and when you do so, try and engage them in a totally different conversation. Again, here the power comes into play and you can be ask them to do something important for you like….”Baby, can you please help mommy pick up the fruits or vegetables?” This has been working fine for me right now!
Talk, Talk and Talk
While I have always maintained that talking it out is a solution to all the problems on this earth, the same applies to your kids as well. Talk to them and try and understand what may be causing this meltdown. If your kids are old enough to talk they might actually tell you the reason for the meltdown and you can then decide what would be the best way to deal with the same. For the younger kids talking to them as a way to make them understand is a great idea as well.
Hugs and Kisses
This may feel like the last thing you want to do when your kid is freaking out, but it really can help her settle down and I’m talking about a big, firm hug, not a super cuddly one. And don’t say a word when you do it — again, you’d just be entering into a futile battle of wills. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their behaviour. Sometimes I think they just need a safe place to get their emotions out.
It really took me a great deal of time to try and test out the various ways and means in which I could tame down those meltdowns and temper tantrums and these 5 ways have worked for me every time. Do give me a shoutout if you find them useful.
Keep on Parenting