Coping with tantrums

It’s not an unfamiliar scene. You’re walking through the shops and you see some poor parent unable to cope with the epic meltdown of their child which of course just so happens to be in the most public part possible of the shop.

You cringe a little and give them a knowing awkward smile. “Yeah, I feel you. I hope you’re ok” the smile says. Then you walk off secretly shaking your head thinking “Pfft, how can they let their child behave like that.” Yeah, let. LET. Ha!

Then of course you get home only to be met with screams from your own child and you dreadfully remember “Oh yeah…”

Tantrums are the absolute worst, so I’ve come up with a few methods on how to cope.

Let’s go through some of the methods I’ve tried:

The Distraction technique: This one actually works quite well, but only if you hit them with it before a tantrum takes off. Example:

Me: “No you can’t just have biscuits for breakfast”.

Stormy: “But I WANT biscuits for-“.

Me: (picks up banana and says quite loudly and quickly) “Hey, the Hulk really wants to eat this banana! Would you like a banana!? Then you can be like the Hulk!”.

Stormy: “Huh. Hulk eats bananas!?” Problem solved.

The Calm technique: Stay calm. Very calm. Use a calm and soothing voice. Don’t raise your voice. You’re not a yelling person. Be matter of fact. Be simply. Be clear. Do not resort to yelling. Yelling only reinforces bad behaviour and does nothing to correct it.

The Yelling technique: Bah, the calm technique is stupid. Who doesn’t like having a good yell? Your child might be throwing something they shouldn’t after you’ve told them three times not to. Now you raise your voice and start yelling at them about what they did was wrong, and that they’re being naughty or bad. Usually ends with them just screaming back at you how they want to be bad, because they are a bad boy. Example. Stormy: “I WANT to be bad, because I AM a bad BAD boy!!!” Helpful tip, try not to laugh.

The Over Nurturing technique: They’ve done something naughty so you attempt to shower them with love instead to make them feel overwhelmed with security and comfort. Grab them and hug them tight, and whisper to them calmly and clearly what they did was wrong and why it wasn’t acceptable, and how they should act appropriately in the future, but most importantly that you still love them. This technique is usually used after the Yelling technique because you feel like you’re the world’s worst person.

The Pleading technique: Tends to be used after you’ve tried a combination of the first few and you’re at your wits end, or just getting plain desperate. Mostly used in public. “Please darling, other people are judging Mummy!”

The Bribery technique: Is usually used hand in hand with the pleading technique. “If you promise to be good I’ll let you have ice cream for dinner.” Hey, it’s not like they were going to eat dinner anyway.

The I’ll go away forever! technique: Your child is usually the one to start this argument with the screamed remark of “YOU HAVE TO GO NOW!”. My usual response: “That’s fine, I’ll go away forever then. Would you like that?”….yeah, I’m a terrible, terrible person.

The Do Nothing technique: Literally exactly that. Because 9 times out of 10, everything you’ve tried never ever works, and you just have to ride it out like a storm. So sit back, go quiet, ignore and do nothing to acknowledge your child and eventually they’ll just scream themselves out. Tends to be most effective if you’re at home, and you have a child gate on the kitchen, where you can stand with a cup of tea whilst hiding behind the pantry door.

So have I missed any? What techniques have you tried? What worked? Did any work? Seriously, I’m asking HAS ANYTHING ANYONE EVER TRIED WORKED!?

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