Tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development and all parents have to deal with them, but how do you respond to your child if they throw a tantrum in a public place? Having a child scream or shout can often be distressing for parents, making you feel helpless, angry and embarrassed.
Children are not born knowing what their feelings are or how to cope with them. As a parent, you need to respond to your child’s emotions in a positive way, set boundaries and deal with problematic behaviour constructively. Skylark Learning offer ten useful tips on how to deal with toddler tantrums effectively: helping to empower parents and nurture a healthy, happy human.
- Firstly, don’t panic. We know that’s easy to say but try to stay calm. Remind yourself that the tantrum is temporary and it won’t last forever, just let it run its course.
- Validate your child’s emotion and acknowledge how they are feeling. Anxiety, confusion and sadness are often disguised through screaming, shouting and crying.
- Remind your child of the rules and set boundaries – for example, if you are in a restaurant, remind your child that there are other people eating their food and that it is polite to not make too much noise.
- Ignore the tantrum. Yes, we did just say that. After initial validation and boundary setting, ignore the tantrum. Calmly continue with whatever you were doing and tell your child that you will talk to them when they are calmer.
- Keep ignoring the negative behaviour and don’t give your child attention. This is OK, because you validated their feeling initially, and you don’t need to continuously validate it.
- Give warm attention for any positive behaviour and praise your child when they stop the tantrum.
- Children may misbehave when they are scared or confused – discuss what feelings are with your child and explore why they make them behave in that way.
- Your child will not be able to get everything they want all the time – they are allowed to be disappointed. Manage expectations and validate their feelings without giving in to unrealistic demands.
- Look after yourself, as a parent, and take time for self-care so that when a negative situation arises, you will be in a better position to handle it in a positive way.
- Remind yourself that negative emotions are not to be feared, but are a normal part of life. Try and see them as opportunities to help your child learn how to cope.
The above tips have been taken from the Parent’s Guide in My First Emotions, an exciting multi-sensory resource designed to help children from birth to three years learn to understand and manage their feelings. My First Emotions uses play, stories and music to encourage nourishing emotional awareness, focusing on five key emotions: love, happiness, sadness, anger and fear.
It’s a new, innovative and high quality resource which assists parents in learning how to respond to their children’s emotions and behaviour in a positive way, encouraging parent–child interaction and bonding, and fostering a healthy emotional environment in the home.
My First Emotions will help you to deal with a range of parenting issues, including:
- Sibling rivalry
- Settling into nursery
- Separation anxiety
- Children’s fears and anxiety
- Crying and screaming.
Click here to pre-order your own set on Kickstarter at a discounted price of £49 (RRP £69).