We know, we know – it’s easy to get flustered When your child throws a tantrum in a public area. And sometimes, it’s really difficult to control your own emotions and words. Child experts say that young kids (particularly those between the ages of 1 and 4) tend to just “lose it” due to lack of coping skills.
So how can you deal with these tantrums? Here are some easy ways to cope with your toddler’s outbursts:
1. Bring snacks wherever you go
Ever heard of the term “hangry”? A hungry kid is an angry kid – so stash some of your child’s favorite snacks (such as cookies or juice boxes) in your handbag whenever you take him or her out of the house. But don’t give them too much, or it might spoil their appetite for proper meals.
2. Refrain from shouting
Never ever scream at your kid. Instead, talk to him or her in a calm and gentle voice. Child experts insist parents to keep their cool during a child’s tantrum. “Talking in a soothing voice shows your child that you’re not going to let her behavior get to you. It also helps you stay relaxed – when what you really want to do is yell right back. In fact, the calm tone is as much for the parent as the child! If you’re tense, your kid will pick up on it, and it’s going to amp her up even more,” says Ray Levy, PhD, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and co-author of “Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation”.
3. Distraction is key
A young child’s attention is easy to divert – if you use the right technique. Sometimes, a simple game (such as “I Spy” and “Hide-and-Seek”) can easily turn your child’s frown into a big smile.
4. Don’t let the child feel rewarded or punished for a tantrum
As Baby Centre explains, parents should let their children see that tantrums change nothing. For example, if your kid threw a tantrum because you would not let her go out into the garden, don’t change your mind and let her out now. Equally, if you had been going to take her for a walk before she had the tantrum, you should take her all the same, as soon as she is calm again.
If your child is really, really upset, no amount of reasoning or silliness will help you calm him or her down. However, the power of your touch might just do the trick! According to What to Expect, a parent’s touch can be soothing – especially since losing control can be scary for a little kid. Try hugging him or her to sooth any frustrations and anger.