Sooner or later, every parent faces the trauma of Tantrums, and many times, we don’t really know how to react.
Advice from the Experts:
I put this question to the experts at Chiltern House and Julia Gabriel, and this is what Fiona Walker (CEO of Julia Gabriel for Learning, Chiltern House Child Care Centres and Julia Gabriel School of Education) has to say:
Children are Individuals:
The most important thing is to understand your child’s temperament. Some children will have a more fiery character than others. These children may become more easily frustrated and not be able to handle disappointment as well as easy-going children.
If you know this about your child, you can try to minimise situations that could lead to a tantrum.
Remember for a 2 or 3 year old it is all about NOW. It is very hard to explain that you can do this later. For about a year, I would go right out of my way to avoid ride on toys in shopping malls unless I was prepared to stop while my son had a play.
The common age for tantrums is between 18 months and 4 or 5 years old. The older the child the easier it is to reason with them, after their temper has subsided. Remember it is perfectly natural to get angry, but it is how we handle that emotion that is important.
What do I do when they my child throws a tantrum:
Remember to always remain calm!
This is not always easy in the face of a screaming, pulling, red – faced child who is doing everything in his or her power to embarrass you!
Once a child is having a tantrum you can either stand back and let him roar and kick or very calmly pick him up and walk briskly away. You are very unlikely to be able to reason with him or her at that time. Just wait – the storm will pass.
Do not give in to whatever it is that has triggered this. They will very quickly realise screaming and kicking gets them what they want!
Afterwards you can talk about how it is difficult when you really, really want something and don’t get it. It can be comforting for them to know that you understand that.
*End of Interview*
I think that the most difficult thing about these public tantrums is remaining calm and not losing your cool! That is why Parenting should not be done alone, but with your spouse as well.
There were times when I wanted to relent, but knowing that my wife was there to back me up, gave me the determination to see the ordeal to the end.
When they eventually calm down and receive their hugs and “pep-talk” from Daddy and Mummy, they will understand that throwing a tantrum, is not the answer to their problems. Doing this consistently is an important component in good parenting.
If this interview has been helpful to you, you may want to check out other questions that I posed to the educators at Julia Gabriel/Chiltern House. Fiona has also dealt with questions like Separation Anxiety, the need for Enrichment Classes or click here to see the full list.