5 Ways to Prevent Child's Tantrums
- Based on research by various educators.
Tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development. Tantrums may happen when kids are tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. They tend to have a meltdown when they do not get what they want or could not get someone to do what they want immediately. Learning to deal with frustration is a skill that children gain over time. Here are 5 basic tips you can use to prevent tantrums from happening in the first place.
1. Plenty of positive attention
Give plenty of positive attention. Get into the habit of catching your child’s good behavior and rewarding them with praises and attention for the positive behavior they have shown. Be specific when praising their behavior to set a tone that you want to see happen more often.
Eg. “Thank you for sharing the toys with your brother” or as simply as, “That was very polite of you to say ‘Thank you’”
2. Give some control
Give some control over little things to your child. Offer minor choices such as “Do you want to have rice or noodles?” or “Do you want to hold my left hand or right hand when crossing the road?”. Allowing your child to choose their own outfit enables them to have control over their life. This of course will prevent a child from answering “No” directly to a question. Through this way, it gives an opportunity for your child to allow self-expression and independence.
Try offering something else to replace the things that they could not have. Start a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden action (e.g. if your child is jumping on the sofa, ask them to assist you in ‘cooking’ by offering a bowl or wooden spoon. Then, you can praise them for helping.
4. Teach them new skills.
Allowing your child to learn a new skill and praising them afterwards will help them to feel proud of what they can do. Also, start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks, such as making a pancake or as simple as pouring milk in their own cup.
5. Know your child’s limits
If you know your child is tired, it is definitely not the best time to go for grocery shopping or running errands. When they are hungry, they are more likely to demand food than children who have just had their meals. Just like us, adults!
Most importantly, keep your cool when responding to a tantrum. Do not complicate the problem through negative emotions such as your own frustration or anger. Remind yourself that it is your responsibility to help your child to learn how to calm themselves down. In order to do that, we need to be calm too.