Creative Child

7 Things to Remember When Your Child Throws a Tantrum

by Sarah Lyons

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You Are not Alone

It might feel like you’re alone in this parenting thing when your child has a fit at the grocery store, but we have all been there. It is likely your child will have a tantrum in public at some point, and it will be embarrassing and inconvenient when it happens. Remind yourself again that it is normal for kids to have tantrums, leave the store if needed, and know that you’ll probably laugh about it later.

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Use Distraction, Humor, and Hugs

During a tantrum, kids are not able to listen to reason but that doesn’t mean parents can’t try to wrap up the crying quickly. Try using a distraction like “Where is the ball?” or asking if they’d like to read a book. 

Make a silly face to lighten the mood or turn on some music and begin a dance party. When they see that you’re having fun and that world continues, even in the face of a tantrum, they will most likely want to join you. For some kids a tight hug helps them to calm down when they are upset. Helping your child move past the tantrum can teach them methods for calming themselves down in the future. Using a distraction is a quick fix, but it shouldn’t be used to sweep emotions under the rug. The situation that caused the tantrum can be discussed later if needed when everyone is calm.

Don’t Doubt Yourself

There was a day when I’d dealt with a particularly horrible tantrum from my daughter, and I began to blame myself. “What am I doing wrong? I must be a terrible mom,” I thought to myself and later told a friend. She reminded me that I am not a bad mother; I was just having a bad day. It happens to all of us. Remain confident in your parenting and remind yourself you are doing the best you can.

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Tantrums happen. It’s just another fact of life. The next time your child has a terrible tantrum, remember that ultimately this developmental stage will end and your child will grow and learn to communicate more effectively.

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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