Ten Tips : How to Overcome Child's Tantrums

More Books : Kids Behavior

Child TantrumWhenever my son doesn't get his way, he screams, kicks, hits, and cries incessantly. I was so frustrated but it never makes the situation better. In fact, it has made it getting worse because when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore, I started to shout at him. But then I realised that I had to find out, what could be done to help him overcome this behavior. And then I started to search and found this tips :

1. What are kids getting out of this behavior?
First make sure that you are not rewarding this type of behavior, positively or negatively because both will help keep it alive. If you eventually give in to this behavior by changing your initial decision (for example not letting your kids go out to play), Kids have learned that tantrums work. Hence, when they want their way they may think, " a good tantrum just may get me that candy bar, it got me out of bedtime last night." Negative attention (yelling, threatening, ridicule, spanking) seldom changes the behavior. Getting you upset may be just as rewarding as giving in to their demands. So again, make sure you are not unintentionally rewarding your kids for this behavior

2. Be proactive

Think of the situations that invite kids to get meltdown and head them off before they happen. Do questions that require a yes or no answer provoke a tantrum? Instead of "Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or macaroni and cheese for lunch Kiki?" try "It is time for lunch Kiki. Would you like macaroni and cheese?" Advance notice may help as well. "We will be leaving Grandma's in ten minutes. Get everything you want to take care of completed before we go." Then you may want to provide an opportunity for him to take a nap

3. Consequence
Be sure to tie the consequence back to the misbehavior. "Kiki, remember the last time we went to the store and you never stopped crying because I wouldn't let you have that Ben 10 toy? Remember how you kept putting it in the cart and screaming that you wanted it? Well I am going shopping but you won't be going with me. I just don't feel like dealing with that kind of behavior today. Grandmother is here to watch you until I get back. Try to make the best of it. Love ya, bye."

4. Move them to a different location.
The key is for you to model taking care of yourself. Your ears hurt when you hear one of your kids is screaming. You may not be able to control whether or not they have a tantrum, but you can control where he does it. "Tantrums are for the bedroom. Let's go." You may want to give them a choice. "Where do you want to be until you can get that under control, the bathroom or the laundry room?" If they can't decide quickly, you decide for him. "Come on out when there is no more crying and screaming."

5. Notice the exceptions.
Point out the times when kids may have thrown a tantrum but did not. "I really appreciate how you came in the house when I asked without throwing a "fit". You should feel good about being able to do that."

6. Give the behavior a name.
This will help externalize the problem, which is to say, it separates the person from the problem. It helps kids and the family view the behavior as the problem and not him (the problem is the problem). For example, you could call their tantrums the "uglies". This can help put your kid and you on the same side in the battle against the "uglies". Questions like "can you think of a time when you have beat the "uglies" Kiki? How did you do it? or how do you know when the "uglies" are coming? What can you do to stop them?" Kids may enjoy the imagery of conquering the "uglies" and this can give kids a sense of control over the behavior.

7. Acknowledge their feelings.
This aligns you with your kid and sets the stage for them to begin to work through his own problems.

Kiki : "Mom, can I get this Ben 10 toy?"
Mom : "No Kiki,  Mom is not buying toys today."
Kiki : Eyebrows coming closer together and lip starting to pucker. "But it is the last one I need and I will have them all."
Mom : "Not today Kiki."
Kiki : Screaming and crying. "You never get me anything I ask for. You don't love me."
Mom : Acknowledging Kiki's feelings. "You must feel really sad about not being able to get this Ben 10 toy. I know I sometimes feel bad when I can't get what I want."
Kiki : Sniffling. "Yea, I really want it."
Mom : "Tell you what. (Taking pen and paper out of planner) I will write this down as "things Kiki wants".
Kiki : "Okay Mom."
You can later use this list for surprises or gifts for special occasions.

8. Tell your kid what you are going to do.
"Kiki, I'll come back down stairs when you get that under control" or "I will be happy to talk to you when you are not crying and you voice is soft like mine."

9. Ignore the tantrum.
If your have the will power to outright ignore the behavior you must remember that it may get worse before it gets better. That is, when kid's behavior doesn't produce the desired results, he may turn it up a notch to see if a higher intensity level gets a response. Be careful. If you give in and respond to the higher level or longer duration, kid learns that is how intense or how long he needs to tantrum from now on in order to receive attention.

10. Direct kid toward a different way of expressing how he feels.
"Kiki, here is some paper and crayons. How about drawing how you are feeling right now." This is a positive, less annoying way of communicating how he feels.
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