It’s every parent’s nightmare to watch their adorable kid turn into a raging mess within seconds, especially in public (worst nightmare). These tantrums are just your tyrant’s way of saying something which they are unable to express in a civil manner that does not scare the innocent bystanders in the surrounding area. Whether these tantrums are executed at home or in public, here are some tips (with insights from some of our favourite Pakistani mummy bloggers) to help you brace yourself and nip them in the bud.
Most temper tantrums occur between the ages of 18 months to 4 years. Kids don’t have the ability to fully express how they’re feeling.
“The only way to effectively shut down a child’s temper tantrum is to deal with it beforehand. Make sure you keep your kid busy. Make sure they’re not tired, not hungry or there’s nothing that’s really upsetting them. So, it’s really about communication,” says Mishayl Naek from Yummy Mummy Network. If they’re upset, an explosion of anger is likely to occur.
According to Nargis Fatima, a wonderful mommy blogger behind @mumsthewordpk, “The most important step is to stay calm. It sounds like the greatest ask when they are screaming at the top of their lungs, but just breathe and remember, once you panic, they do too. Maintain eye contact. Don’t allow them to focus on anything else, but channel them in that moment. You are their safe place and they need that assurance.”
LOOSEN THE REINS
Face it; in a tantrum situation, your child is the boss. Okay, we all know you’re the real boss here but in this situation, your child has more control over you than you have over him. Remember what we said about keeping calm?
Shaharbano from @themeinm0mmy suggests, “Take a deep breath and then try and divert their attention. Telling them to stop or trying to reason won’t get you anywhere. Distracting is a strategy that works!” Save your no’s for really important situations.
Faiza Lakhani, Editor-in-Chief at SecretCloset.pk and LittleStars.pk also shares valuable advice,
“Confrontation – I have learnt the hard way – is the least effective way to handle irrational behaviour. Rather offer them options to choose from that make them feel in control and leave the decision making power to them. If it’s, “I don’t want to change into my pyjamas for bed time,” I give them a small 5 minute activity, like, can you please make mama dinner in your kitchen first and I will finish all of it in the time you change and brush your teeth and you can check if I have emptied my plate? Would you like to wear the cherry pjs or the fairy pjs today, why don’t you go choose them from the drawer yourself? Distraction is key, rather than saying no, you cannot have this or you cannot do that, simply divert their attention by changing the room or the activity.”
GIVE YOUR CHILD SOME SPACE
“Sometimes a kid just needs to get his anger out. So let him!” says Linda Pearson, a nurse practitioner and author of The Discipline Miracle. (Just make sure there’s nothing in tantrum’s way that could hurt him.) “I’m a big believer in this approach because it helps children learn how to vent in a nondestructive way. They’re able to get their feelings out, pull themselves together, and regain self-control – without engaging in a yelling match or battle of wills with you.”
Bear in mind that prevention is better than cure. Making sure your child is well-rested and not overly stressed can prevent many tantrums.
Temper tantrums are inevitable and unavoidable. They are just a part of life. What matters is how effectively, you choose to deal with them – there is no such thing as an impossible tantrum.