WHAT SHOULD WE DO IN THE FACE OF A TANTRUM?

 

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Sometimes they happen at the worst moments, during an airplane flight, in a formal restaurant, at the supermarket when your hands are full … All parents fear the moment when our little ones lose control and make us want to scream along with them. However, tantrums are a normal part of development and as parents, we can help our children learn to manage their frustrations and eventually eliminate them altogether.

Tantrums are sometimes the result of a child being tired or his need to express an explosion of emotions that he doesn’t understand and has no other way to manifest. The child is confused and nervous and needs the tranquility of his parents in order to learn to calm himself down. This is not the time to try and reason with the child or show him that you are angry. You can tell him that you´re sorry he´s feeling that way and remain calm at his side. If circumstances permit, you can try to distract him or change his surroundings.

When children want something that is not in their best interest and are denied that something by their parents, they can become unreasonably upset; when this happens, it is important to breathe deeply and remain calm. You should use a neutral tone of voice to tell your child that you will not give in, or you should ignore the situation altogether. It is critical that the child learns that this is not the way to get what he wants, including his parents´ attention. If you are somewhere in public where it might be embarrassing to ignore the situation, before giving in or getting angry, you must keep in mind these strategies that will help the child learn to manage his frustration and understand that tantrums are not an effective tool for capturing his parents´ attention or getting what he wants.

Tantrums are often unavoidable. The important thing is to remain calm, be aware of the child´s frustration, never give in, and use distraction whenever possible. It is helpful to remember that we have all been through this stage as children and that we can all overcome it.

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