Monday, February 14, 2011

Weathering tantrums of your child

            When a tantrum erupts, stay calm. It is frightening for a child to lose control of herself and even scarier if a grown up follows suit. Do not try to reason with her, and do not argue, Scream back or threaten punishment. If your child is given to mild tantrum behavior, your best bet is to ignore it by turning your back, possibly even leaving the room. You are telling her that this outburst has no effect on you. Under no circumstances should your ward your child for this behavior- by offering candy in hopes of diverting her, for instance- or reveal that the tantrum upsets you. If you, you are likely to see more, not less, of it.

            However, if a tantrum is so severe that you think your child might actually injure herself or another child, you should gently but firmly pick her up and move her away from the Scene. It is best to stay with her, either holding her in your arms or simply remaining close by, until the emotions have subsided. With violent tantrums, many experts feel a child’s need for support and comfort outweighs any concerns the parent might have about encouraging such behavior.
             Few moments are so embarrassing for parents as when their children throw tantrums on the playground or in a department store, but you should not let the oh-you-cruel mother stares from passersby induce you into special handling. Your child needs your firmness and control now more than ever. If possible, pick her up and move her away from the source of stimulation. If not, stand your ground by holding her firmly until the outburst is over.