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throw that tantrum!

lemme share with you an article i stumbled upon earlier tonight.
all parents get to experience this behavior at certain stages of our child's some point, we find ourselves so helpless and short-tempered
that scenarios like these often end up ugly for both the child and the parent.
personally, i am guilty of this. oftentimes, i just give in to the punk's demand just so he
would stop whining and shut up. and i admit, there's almost always the guilt afterwards.
but anyway, here's one of the thousands of articles online that can help you deal
with those dreaded tantrums.

by Gopi Patel of Ebeanstalk

The truth is tantrums are a LEARNED behavior. Even if it just happens once
the child learns that when I cry, scream, throw myself on the floor—kicking
and arms in every direction, “I WILL GET MY WAY”.

Tantrums usually occur when a child wants something and is frustrated because
she can’t have it right away. When this happens parents usually give into the
tantrum because they feel helpless. The problem is that as time goes by, with each
episode the tantrums often get worse in their intensity, duration, and frequency.

To rid our world of tantrums, we as parents need not only learn how to deal
with them once they occur, but identify a potential tantrum before it has begun.

Before the tantrum: The tell-tale signs of an on-coming tantrum are often
whining, talking in a baby voice, repeating phrases over and over again, all with
the intention to get his or her way. When the signs first appear say to your child
(in business like voice),

“use your big boy/girl voice and then I can talk to you”. If your child then asks
for the same thing simply state, “you cannot have that right now. We are done
talking about this now.” Repeat this as many times as necessary. Do not give in
to them.

The tantrum has begun: Once a tantrum has begun walk out of the room or
area you are in and ignore your child (if at home it often helps to go in a room
where she cannot join you such as the bathroom/bedroom). If your child grabs
on to you simply ignore them and go on with your task. If the tantrum starts
getting severe in intensity where the child could hurt herself, others, or the
environment— immediately remove her to a safe time out area. Then, simply
state to her, “when you are quiet and ready to be with me I will come get you”.
(It should be noted that a child should always know what your time out procedure
is, before this is attempted).

Never give in because you feel your child has been in the time out too long. You are
not a horrible parent if you let your child tantrum for a long period of time. Your
child, just like you, is learning a new way of dealing with behaviors and consequences.

After the tantrum: once your child has been quiet for a couple minutes go to
her and say “I am glad you are ready”/”I am glad to see you happy again”. At this
point parents often get caught up in talking about the episode that triggered the
tantrum, instead of dwelling on this, move on to the next activity or task. If she
begins to cry and tantrum again—simply start the process all over again.

Here are some suggestions that have helped many of the families that I have
worked with. It should be noted that the parents who were most successful in
preventing tantrums dealt with these events in the most CONSISTENT manner.
Every family is different, and unique, but every child needs LOVE, CONSISTENCY,
and a POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT to grow in to his/her fullest potential.

Helpful Hints for Dealing with Tantrums:

  • Before doing a time a time out have a clear procedure for this place.
  • Make sure it is in a safe place.
  • Parents should be in control of the situation, not their child
    Both parents should work together to achieve results faster. (No good cop bad cop.)
  • Do not start talking about the tantrum as soon as it has ended — talk about it
  • at a later, if you must.
  • State things a little bit differently—rather than stating what your child should
  • NOT be doing, state what they can be doing (a child running around—instead
  • of: “STOP running” say: “Use your walking feet”)
  • Tell your children before the task or activity what the rules are, what you
  • expect from him or her.
  • Be calm and in control of yourself — these situations can at times get intense.
  • The best way to eliminate tantrums before they even begin is to
  • positively reinforce your children. Tell them as often as you can
  • what a great job they are doing—even if the task is simple.

there you have it.
but remember, although consistency in a child's behavioral training is an important
point for good results, your unconditional love and endless patience will always be
your most vital tools.


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