How To Diffuse a Temper Tantrum

Just about every parent has had a moment in parenthood when their child as done lost their mind; a legs flailing, arms flying, mouth screaming temper tantrum. Most say the year of the two’s are the worst, makes sense because this is a time when your child realizes that they have their own mind and can test the boundaries of their parents. In my experience the age of 4 and 6 were the worst, with my youngest it’s this age of four and with my oldest it was once she hit 6 that I found myself dealing with various parental testing, mind boggling temper tantrums. I had quite a few my own self dealing with these changes in my children, but then I realized the trick, what works to diffuse my child’s temper tantrum.

Image courtesy - http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Children_g112-Grumpy_Child_p70716.html

Image courtesy – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Children_g112-Grumpy_Child_p70716.html

It was a long night, little to no sleep for the little guy when all of a sudden every thing you did as a parent set him into a whirlwind of whining, screaming and hitting. The kid was stomping around as if you just told him the world was ending, a nightmare. The parent without the most sleep starts to feel their own self wanting to join in on this whirlwind of craziness but then it dawns on that parent that the “if you can’t beat them, join them” theory may not prove to work in this type of scenario. That is when the parent pulls out the big guns, ignore the temper tantrum.

That’s right, you heard me, ignore the little temper tantrum throwing child. Sit back and make sure that the child is out of harms way and let that child throw their little fit of rage. Nine times out of ten if that child is ignored the fit will diffuse rather quickly, leaving the situation to resolve itself easily. Of course, if ignoring this child is only making things worse then maybe it’s time to give them a time out in a safe area and make sure that they serve one minute per age in a time out. Whatever you do, do not join in on the temper tantrum as it will usually only feed the fire more.

Tips on How to Diffuse a Temper Tantrum

  • Count to three or ten, whatever it takes for you to personally calm down before attempting to address the temper tantrum child.
  • Breath slowly, talk slowly and speak to the child in a firm, matter of fact way.
  • Let the child know that you are going to give them “set amount of minutes” to calm down or they will need to be removed from their particular area and set to have alone time. Set timer with alarm.
  • Once that time is up, go back to the child, if their temper tantrum is over discuss with them {at their age level} as to why their behavior was not okay and how they can better address their issue next time.
  • If the temper tantrum is still going on, then set that child alone somewhere to have peace and quiet time, they can throw their little fit elsewhere. By taking the child away from the situation/view of others, they will possibly calm down quicker due to lack of audience.
  • Move on with the day after issue has been addressed as if nothing happened.

These are tips that have worked for me and are still a work in progress, but hey isn’t life a work in progress anyways? Who’s to say everyone has a magic wand answer to parenting, but I am hoping by sharing my tips you will then share your tips below and we can all work together to support each other during the challenges that arise in parenthood.

Keep the Kids Calm During A Move

Moving is a pretty hectic time for most people, regardless of how old they are. Between the stress of getting packed up and the uncertainty involved in transitioning to a new home, there are a lot of things going on and it’s tough to manage them all. Moves can be especially hectic for kids, whose stress often converts into temper tantrums and other outbursts that only make the process more difficult for you. Try some of these tips to keep your kids calm during a move and help the process go as smoothly as possible.

Give them advance notice

Kids are smart. They can tell something’s different when you’re getting ready for a move and may demonstrate this knowledge non-verbally, such as becoming extra clingy. Rather than going on with life as normal and pretending nothing is happening, it’s best to tell your kids what’s going on well in advance. That way, they can start getting used to the idea and even help get ready by taping boxes or helping pack. Start talking about the possibility of a move when you’re starting to scout out houses or apartments and get them excited about the process. Everything you do to prepare in advance will prevent a huge shock when moving day arrives.

Explain the process

Watching all of their belongings get put on a big truck and driven away by a strange person can be really scary for kids. Take some time to explain what to expect on moving day. Let them know you hired a moving company whose job it is to get all your stuff safely to your new home. Also explain what kids will need to help you with before moving day, such as sorting through their toys and books, and staying out of the way as the movers load up the truck.

Assign kid-friendly jobs

Boredom is one of the major causes of misbehavior. When you’re so busy preparing for and executing a move, you may not be paying as much attention as usual to keeping your kids busy. Before you start the move, brainstorm some jobs each of your kids will enjoy helping with during each stage of the process. For example, you can have a child be in charge of labeling boxes as you pack them or being in charge of the Goodwill donation pile. When you’re cleaning your house, little ones love helping hold the dustpan or push the vacuum. These tasks will keep them occupied and help prevent outbursts due to feeling left out.

Keep kids fed

Children are especially susceptible to tantrums and emotional outbursts when they’re hungry. With such small bodies, going an hour or two past a meal time can be a pretty big deal. While you’re packing up your kitchen, make sure to keep a stash of kid-friendly food close at hand so your kids don’t get too hungry on moving day. Take a break to go out to lunch at a restaurant of their choice. If your kids start getting a little grumpy, offer a favorite snack. Even if you’re usually pretty strict about what they eat, one day of exceptions isn’t going to ruin everything.

Although you can never guarantee your kids will be perfect angels during a move, keeping them involved throughout the process will help your big day go more smoothly. Know as well the process doesn’t end when you get to the new place. Let them help set up their play areas right away so they can start having fun in the new house while you work on unpacking and settling in.

Becoming a Parent – Tough Love & Mistakes

I wrote yesterday about how I changed when I became a parent and today  I would like to write about how I am a strong believer in tough love and making mistakes.

Side Note: I would also love for you all to check out a post written yesterday by Sugar Jones called Good Mom, Bad Mom.

I am a big, huge fan of tough love and allowing your children to make mistakes. Now do not get me wrong, it breaks my heart to see my children pout, frown and yes even get hurt a little BUT the point behind this is that they will learn that life is not about always getting what you want nor is it about doing everything right. If you truly want to live and enjoy life to the fullest you have to make mistakes.

Making Mistakes

My oldest is a perfectionist to the max, and it drives me BONKERS. Not because she is so smart and so wonderful at EVERYTHING but because she is so worried about getting all the answer correct and drawing me the most perfect picture that she isn’t having “fun” with her life and school work. She is also what appears to be under a lot of stress for a six year old, she cries at the slightest incorrect answer or misspelled word. It’s so hard, I want to laugh at her, and say “are you really crying because you wrote Ciss instead of Kiss?” but I can’t laugh, this is a serious problem in her eyes, it’s a HUGE dilemma – I don’t get it, and must admit it seriously concerns me that she thrives to be so perfect. We are working on this, and I am slowly encouraging her to do her best, but do not worry if she colors out of the lines or doesn’t do something perfectly – because I love her art work no matter how many times she colors outside of the lines!

I actually encourage my children to make mistakes, to not always try to get all the answers right. I tell my children that if they get something wrong or mess something up – that means they get to learn something new that day.

As a parent, my view on mistakes has not changed. I have always believed that people must make mistakes in order to grow stronger and as a parent I enforce this belief daily.

Tough Love

In addition to allowing my children to learn from their mistakes, I am a huge fan of tough love, but must admit I do give in at times, again I am not a perfect Mom, I am ME and really that’s all I can be – is ME. I personally do not like to see a child screaming in the store but I hate it even more so when I see a child screaming because the parent said “no” to something and then, after the child threw a temper tantrum the parent gives in and says “yes”. Oh that bugs me worse than listening to their child scream.

I have been given the look so many times with my 2 year old son, who seems to finally have learned I mean what I say and that includes when I say you can’t have something in a store. I do not care how packed that store is, and I do not care how many other people are staring at me while my 2 year old is kicking and screaming because I said no. I don’t care, and I will allow AJ to continue to act that way while I give no attention and continue on shopping because eventually he realizes he is not going to get his way nor is he getting any attention from me acting in such a silly manner.

Tough love can be defined by many parents in many different ways, it all depends on what age our children are.

My perception on tough love changed when I became a parent, I used to think it was all about my parents making my life miserable and trying to be controlling, when in all reality it was about teaching me life and responsibility. Tough love is a unique way for parents to teach their children consistency, structure and love.

Q: How has your opinion on tough love and mistakes changed since becoming a parent? Please comment below.

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