Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When Tantrums Turn Stormy

Toddlers and preschoolers have days when they fall into a full stormy tantrum. When you feel like nothing you say or do is going to calm him down. He might throw things or hurt someone in his way. I know it can seem a little scary; however, know that this is normal.

Keep some thoughts in perspective:

They can easily sense your anxiousness by your face expressions and body language. Try to avoid yelling or showing your frustration by getting mad. This only intensifies his behavior even more.  Your calmness will reflect onto him. He needs you to be the rock or the calm one during his stormy emotions. Sometimes, I find the more attention I give during the stormy tantrum, the more the tantrum carries on. I encourage you to find what works for your child as each child has a certain level of temperament along his own personality. What I write here is merely suggestions from my experience with caring for little ones.

If the tantrum involves hitting or kicking you or someone else, get down to his level of eye contact. Gently hold his hands from hitting or feet from kicking while talking to him in a calm but firm tone of voice, “No hitting(kicking) . . . it’s hurts when you hit(kick).” Continue to stay calm while looking at him eye to eye. Your calmness will reflect onto him. Let go as soon as he shows signs of calming down. Let him be alone for a little while. Don’t carry on about what he did. After he is calm, if he had hurt someone else, ask if he is ready to apologize for hurting his friend. Even a hug will do instead of a verbal apology. He has to want to apologize, though. Sometimes, they get too emotional or aren’t ready to take that step.

When he feels like talking about it and is at the level of understanding, sit with him. Recognize his feelings to help him see that you understand why he is mad or frustrated about a situation and reaffirm that you can’t allow him to act out in this way. If he is an older child, talk about options of what he can do if he is mad like punch a pillow, stomp his feet, and ultimately encouraging him to express with words. Give him opportunities to “let it out” to release the pent up frustration. When he does share his feelings, allow him to own those feelings. You may not agree with him; however, you can listen and hear him out. 

Another article relating to tantrums . . .
The Magic of Choices vrs Struggling with Power Play 

Also refer to Iva's book Precious Years Leaps & Bounds for more information on tantrums like "What about tantrums in public?"

 (Click here) vote Precious Years Blogger on Top Baby Blogs 

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