By now you know that Coco was our inspiration for Nawi Kids. She is a kick-ass little girl, and a lovely big sister. But like any kid, she sometimes has problems expressing her feelings and needs, and temper tantrums ensue. So what do you do when you child’s emotions gets the best of him?
Let’s understand why they happen
Tantrums can be fast and furious, and while you may be having a laugh with you child one minute, you can find him kicking and screaming the next. More likely than anything, your child is acting out of frustration, not manipulation. For 3-6 year olds, emotions can often become overwhelming.
One thing that can help us further understand these outbursts, is to learn to recognize the triggers. Things like rejection, fear, and interruptions, often manifest as tantrums and can affect your child even hours later. For example, if your child experienced some sort of rejection by a peer earlier in the day, the heightened anxiety caused by that incident, may cause a tantrum later that day.
2. Let’s find solutions
Don’t lose control. This may seem like obvious advice, but any parent can attest to how difficult this can be when faced with a wailing child. When a child is having a temper tantrum he will not listen to reason. If you resort to screaming, it will mostly likely just cause you to become frustrated as well.
Stop. Sit. Listen. I have learned that the best solution is to sit down, and be preset with her while she rages. Tell your child he’s safe and that you’re there, but let him try express what he needs. Stomping out or leaving the room yourself, will only leave the child feeling abandoned at a time when he needs comfort. In time, the outbursts will shorten, and he will realize that you are there for him in his time of frustration.
You're the grownup. When you find yourself dealing with a meltdown in a public place, it's easy to give in to whatever demands your child has to diffuse the situation. But try not to think about what others are thinking, most people understand. Giving in will only teach him that this sort of behavior works as a way to get what he wants. If he is really out of control or hurting himself or others, pick him up and take him to a safe place, like outside or his room. Be prepared to walk out with your child until he has calmed down.
Learn from triggers. Most times, you can easily track what set off your child's tantrum. Learn what these triggers are and offer a solution before things get our of hand. If your child gets cranky when he's hungry, try to carry snacks. If he doesn't like being interrupted or transitioning from one activity to the next, alert him with plenty of time, that you he will have to stop what he's doing soon.
Talk it out. After the tantrum is over, take the time to hold your child, and talk about what happened. But don't do all the talking yourself. Ask him what is upsetting him and whether he'd like to talk about it.
3. Don’t be afraid to look for help
The reason why I can write this post today, is because I realized that there are plenty of resources to help me become the best parent I can be. In my case, I did some research and found a local parenting class, which I now attend once a week. It has become part of my routine, and the lessons learned there help me have a better relationship with my child and connect with other parents.
But classes aren’t the only solution, the internet is full of useful resources. Find what works for you and connect with others with similar interests. We also love to hear from you, so let us know what has worked for you and your child.
After all, we can all benefit by parenting through example. If I strive to continually grow and better myself, I know that message will pass on to my little dino.