Creative Child

The Ultimate Guide to Tantrums

by Rebecca Eanes

6 Tantrum Tips

For Brain Science:

Upstairs and Downstairs Tantrums by Tina Payne-Bryson, PhD

Why We Should NOT Ignore a Tantrum by Tina Payne-Bryson, PhD

Why Kids Have Temper Tantrums by Dirt & Boogers

The End of All Tantrums by Nathan McTague

Preventing Tantrums:

4 Surefire Ways to Prevent Tantrums by Dirt & Boogers

How to Stop Tantrums Now and Prevent Them Later by TRU Parenting

5 Keys to Setting Limits that Minimize Tantrums and Meltdowns by Parenting Beyond Punishment

Tips for Handling Tantrums:

Toddlers, Tantrums, and Time-Ins, Oh My! By L.R. Knost

How to Manage Toddler Tantrums by Nicole Schwarz

A Brain-Based Way to Stop Your Child’s Tantrum by Nicole Schwarz

Getting Rid of Car Seat Tantrums by Creative with Kids

Tantrums: Emotional Regulation or Pure Manipulation? by Not Just Cute

How to Turn a Temper Tantrum into a Teachable Moment by The (Reformed) Idealist Mom

Stop Tantrums: 33 Phrases to Use with Toddlers by Andrea Nair

Tantrum Tamers: 32 Phrases to Use with 3 and 4 Year Olds by Andrea Nair

There’s an App for That!

Who can remember all of that great information in the moment every single time? Now there’s an incredible app! The Taming Tantrums app was developed a positive parenting expert and is helpful for more than just tantrums. It’s available for iPhone and Android.

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I know you don’t have time to read all of those at once, so here are my tips for dealing with tantrums:

1. Never withdraw your love and attention.

You don't have to necessarily give the child more attention, but don't ignore his very existence. That hurts. Acknowledge his distress and empathize with it, even if you have to do it from a distance. Some children want held, some want left alone, all want to feel loved and understood.

2. Teach her to recognize and label emotions.

There are a lot of ways to do this besides just naming them as they happen. There are free printables online, books, and other resources to teach emotional intelligence. Also, help them see and acknowledge what triggers them. "You get really upset when it's time to leave Grandma's. Let's work on ways to help you feel better about that."

3. Teach specific ways to deal with emotions.

My son used to love to pop a balloon when he was angry. He was two years old at the time. All kids (and adults) have different ways of calming themselves. Some like music. Others reading. Still others need to do something physical like clap their hands or rip paper. If they have an appropriate outlet for releasing their frustration, over time they'll learn to seek that outlet first.

4. Don’t punish. Teach.

Talk about whatever caused the tantrum after it's over and talk about ways to improve or handle the situation better. Teaching skills is always more effective than punishment. Just be sure to wait until the tantrum is over because when they’re operating from that lower brain, they aren’t going to take in the lesson.

5. Control yourself.

Tantrums can trigger our own strong emotional reaction. Put your own oxygen mask on first. We can’t teach kids how to do better if we can’t do better ourselves.

6. Give a little grace.

We are all human beings here. That doesn't excuse poor behavior, but if you've ever lost it on your kid, you can empathize with that strong feeling that makes us all behave poorly from time to time. Learn better. Teach them better. Give a little grace when it's needed.

There are loads of articles on the web about tantrums, all with contradicting advice, and many of them will tell you it’s best to ignore the child. It can be difficult to know what you should really do.

A good guiding question: How would you want to be treated?

I encourage you to tune in and listen to what your own heart tells you to do.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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