No one likes temper tantrums. For parents they can be loud, increase your anxiety, your own frustration, and in turn that could lead to bad parenting decisions. For kids it is an outpouring of all their big emotions that they often don’t yet have the tools to physically manage.
As a parent it is your job to help them process the tantrum and set the right precedence that helps children grow to be emotionally intelligent, compassionate people. Unfortunately, as a parent, you are also human.
It can be challenging to always be on your own best behavior, but the fact is you don’t have to be – you just need to set a good example.
Improve How You Address Each Tantrum
Tantrums between the ages of one to five are prone to be full of option and very little logic. Since kids at this age don’t yet have the ability to emotionally regulate it can be a challenge to parent them through it, especially if they did something wrong like hitting or biting another kid. It can be even more difficult with your 3-year-old not listening to you.
A good way to address each tantrum is to know what caused it, how your child has reacted to it, and what consequence is appropriate. Sometimes just being taught how to process strong emotions is all your child needs, in other times they were misbehaving and the tantrum started when you tried to set rules. Knowing why the tantrum started can help you understand how to address it after the tantrum has passed.
Always Wait for the Tantrum to End
You won’t get anywhere if your kid is still in the midst of the tantrum. They aren’t listening, they aren’t really understanding the world outside of their own skin. Waiting them out calmly will help the emotions die down and once they are calm you can then have a discussion about what happened and make the appropriate decisions from there.
Reduce Your Own Stimuli
If you get personally triggered by loud noises, then the best way to improve your ability to parent your child through a tantrum is to reduce that stimuli. Ear plugs are a great way to do this. They don’t cut out all noise, but they can minimize the amount of loud noise that gets through. Just cutting a scream tantrum down a few decibels can do wonders to help you stay calm in the situation so that you can assess it appropriately and help your child calm down and then give the appropriate lesson or consequence, depending on what triggered the tantrum in the first place.
Remain Firm and Impartial
When your child is in a temper tantrum usually the best way to address this is by being as firm and impartial as possible. Just as you won’t want to use shame or physical punishment, especially before your child calms down, you also won’t want to go too far in the opposite direction and beg or plead for better behavior. Try to remain calm, firm, and impartial in the face of the extreme emotion so that your kids can adapt and learn lessons from a positive place.