Dealing with Tantrums

Does your child refuse to listen to you? Shouts instead of explaining why he doesn’t want to do something when told. Frustration and anger can quickly turn into disrespect, aggression and temper tantrums. While most of us can take a deep breath and practice a time out exercise; not everyone can do that.

As a parent we must understand that we can only help our children when we ourselves do not respond in the same manner (anger) when a child shouts, yells or does a temper tantrum.

Here are a few techniques to teach your child to control their temper tantrums

1. Show appropriate anger management skills.
Remember children learn from watching you and not by what you say. So if you want your child to respond instead of react; you too must respond and not react when your child does anything unacceptable to you.

2. Teach your child to differentiate between behaviour and feelings.
Teach your child that it’s ok to feel angry, but it’s not acceptable to hit anyone. Teach your child to label their feelings; hurt, sad; uncomfortable etc.; this way you and your child can chart out how to respond to that feeling instead of being violent about it.

3. Set limits
Setting an anger limit makes your child aware that throwing things around the house, shouting or disrespecting won’t be accepted. Anger rules should center on behaving respectfully toward others.

4. Be prepared for consequences
While I disapprove of the ‘’carrot and the rabbit technique’’ to control your child’s anger issues; once in a while it is ok to compliment or offer a token of appreciation your child for displaying good behavior or coping with their anger issues.

5. Bonding time
Be a good role model for your child. Your child will be less cranky when you build an emotional connection with them, because a sense of belongingness, love and affection is built which creates a sense of calmness and contentment in a child.

6. Seek professional help
If your child doesn’t respond to any of the methods mentioned above or behavior issues seem to be getting worse with each passing day, it might be a good idea to seek professional help from a counselor.

Written by:
Rabab Ghadiali

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