Thursday, April 12, 2007

Temper Tantrums (TT)

Here is a list of ways to avoid and also deal with temper tantrums.

  1. Reward positive behavior - Positive re-enforcement of good behavior is a good way to prevent tantrums. Children will want to make you happy and if you are super excited about good behavior they will try to repeat. "Great job sharing your toys!"
  2. Don't ask! - Avoid arguments that will lead to tantrums by NOT asking your child to do something that they have to do. Don't ask "Ready to brush your teeth?" Instead say "OK time to brush your teeth now"
  3. Allow options! - Give a little leeway and allow your child to make some choices for himself. Ask "Do you want to wear the green shirt or the blue shirt today?" Allowing your child to be active in choices when appropriate will help to prevent power struggles.
  4. Distraction - If a situation is getting touchy and you know that your child will throw a tantrum redirect their attention immediately. If its raining outside and the child is throwing a tantrum to go outside think of an indoor activity that your child loves and suggest it instead.
  5. Establish a routine and stick to it! - This can help eliminate many many nighttime tantrums. Once your child learns what is expected to happen there will be less of a struggle and less tantrums.
  6. Allow a grace period before an activity ends - This is one that I have started doing constantly with everything and it has worked wonders for us. Carry a timer or even use the alarm on a cell phone. Tell your child for example "OK you have 5 minutes left to watch TV before bed. When the alarm goes off then time is up". I normally play the alarm to let Nate know what it will sound like before I set it.
  7. Remain Calm - I know its hard to do, but if you remain calm then it will help to shorten your childs tantrum and help keep you sane. Spanking or yelling at your child while he is throwing a tantrum will only make the tantrum worse and cause you to become madder.
  8. Ignore - Sometimes its best to ignore a tantrum that is being thrown for the sole purpose to attract your attention. Tell your child that when he decides to act appropriate then you will pay attention. After the child has finished the tantrum then provide the attention wanted.
  9. Never give in - Giving in to a tantrum will only encourage the behavior and will result in the child throwing tantrums more often. If your childs knows that you will cave if he throws a tantrum then it will most likely happen anytime you refuse to give something wanted.
  10. Do not reward - Don't reward your child after a tantrum. They may associate tantrums with ways to get better treats.
  11. Count - If you child is starting to get worked up step aside with your child and say "Lets count". This will help to distract your child and refocus his mind on something else. Count with your child until he calms down. Then you can calmly discuss the situation that caused a tantrum if needed.
  12. Tolerance - How many times do you say NO to your child each day? Avoid fighting over minor things to help prevent tantrums.
  13. Establish a reward system for good behavior - Set up a chart with your childs name on it and squares for each day of the week. Buy some stickers that your child likes. When your child has a good day have him place a "reward sticker" on the square for that day. You can offer different rewards for different amounts of stickers. We offer Nate a prize day where if he has had good behavior for the week the we will get him a "prize" while he is at school. We have done toys (small toys like cars, trucks, etc), movies, and books.

Remember to ignore the disapproving glances by others in the stores if your child is throwing a tantrum. Handle the tantrum appropriately and remember that they have either been in the same situation with their child or its been so long since they had to deal with a tantrum that they have forgotten what its like. It will take some time but being consistent with how you handle tantrums will help to eliminate most if not all of them in the future!

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Anonymous said...

Just visiting from TT! LOVED your list! I just finished a great book called "Parents In Charge: Setting Healthy, Loving Boundaries for You and Your Child" by Ph.D., Dana Chidekel

You should really check it out if you haven't..alot of what you mentioned is covered in that book. It has some of THE best advice for parents of young children that I have ever read! And due to the fact that in August I'll be the mother of 3 kids under 3 1/2...I've read a LOT of books on parenting young kids! :)

Jill said...

Even if I don't have kid, I know a lot of those things are true for seeing them with with nieces and little cousins!!
Tanx for visiting my tt!!

amy said...

I have a feeling I am going to need to bookmark your list for when we get back from CHina

samulli said...

Waaahhh, scary!
Thanks for making me appreciating my nice and quiet life without children of my own. ;o)

And thanks for stopping by my blog.

Mercy's Maid said...

Those sound like good tips. Happy TT!

Ingrid said...

very interesting and helpful list!!! i'm intrigued!!! thanks for sharing!

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