Preventing and Managing Tantrums in Kids

In our last article on Understanding Kids and Tantrum, we made it clear that kids having a tantrum is normal behavior, and like every other kid’s behavior it can be managed. We also pointed out the factors that can cause a kid to have a tantrum, and how you can help reduce its occurrence.

In today’s article, we will be talking about how you can prevent your kids from throwing tantrums, and should in case it happens, there are tactics that can help you handle them.

Sometimes tantrums occur, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Here are some tricks that can help you handle them.

1.   Walk away from the Situation

You might have noticed, the more you try to calm a crying child, the louder they cry. The best thing to do in such a situation is to leave the child alone. When you try to beg, it means you are indulging them in that act. If you know the child might get physical, trying to harm himself or others, then you can remove him from that environment. If the need arises, enforce a time out session when they start to behave in such way. Also, be careful with the use of taking away a privilege, the continuous use makes it lose its effectiveness.

2.   Speak softer while he/she screams

The reason why kids throw tantrum is to gain attention, so if in a public place your child decides to yell, scream, or cry out loud, would you also reply by screaming back? You should rather try to calm her down with your calm voice; offer options like if she’ll like to leave that place and go sit in the car.

3.   After tantrum demand

If your child is acting up because you refuse to give him cookies, once he is done with his act, follow through with your initial reply – do not give him the cookie. Your daughter might be crying because you told her to pick up her toy, once she’s done crying and she picks up her toy, encourage her. After all, you are trying to discourage that particular attitude.

4.   Create a distraction

The attention span of children is really short, which means they easily get distracted. The moment you start to notice your child is swelling up, about to throw a tantrum, distract them by making funny faces, telling a joke so as to get their mind off what is upsetting them.

If your child is about to start acting up in the supermarket because you refuse to get him his favorite snack, change the situation by asking them to select a flavor of cereal or ice cream for the house. They are more helpful when you sound cheerful when doing that. It helps get their mind off acting up and engage in a new situation fast.

5.   No harm in giving incentives

The moment you are asking too much of your kids, then you should be ready to accept whatever comes from it. But you can avoid this by simply ‘bribing’ them. For instance, tell your kids, ‘mum is asking you to sit in the car while I go see the pastor. If you can behave, I will give you ice cream when we get home.’ if your kids start to act up after that, remind the, about the ice cream you discussed. You will be surprised at how this can quickly put them back.

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