Solving Toddler Tantrums

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  • October 14, 2014

Guest Article by Amy McCready (1)

In this week’s blog, I am featuring an article written by Amy McCready,  the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and a self-described “recovering yeller.”  Her Toolbox strategies have empowered parents worldwide to correct their kids’ misbehaviors without nagging, reminding or yelling.  If you’ve ever lived through a tantrum of any age, then you will appreciate Amy’s advice.  Here’s what she has to say:

 

Three Tips For Avoiding Tantrums

 

Tantrums aren’t reserved for just the two-year-old set. Kids, all the way up to teens, throw tantrums in public and at home. It may not be a fall on the floor, kicking and screaming performance, but maybe it’s a simple as battling over bedtime, refusing to eat certain foods or walking away from unfinished homework.

 

Keep in mind, though, that tantrums aren’t always a kid choosing to misbehave.  Sometimes, it can be your child’s way of trying to tell you he’s hungry, overtired or that he just plain needs more of your attention. Learn to recognize these situations, and in those times, work to resolve the problem (a snack, calming down for a nap, quiet playtime together) while comforting them.

 

But if the tantrum doesn’t fall into those categories, remember that just because your child decides to throw a tantrum doesn’t mean you have to participate in it. How you respond can determine if the tantrum kicks into high gear and how often they happen. To help curb tantrums from flaring up again in the future, avoid these three pitfalls when reacting to a tantrum:

 

1. Don’t NegotiateBeautiful baby. Shot in studio. Isolated on white.

 

We’ve all tried to calm down our child in the midst of a tantrum – sort of like talking them down from the ledge. But think about a time you were really worked up about something – did you feel like having a rational discussion about the problem? While you may not have been throwing a tantrum, your child’s situation is similar. During a tantrum, they can’t rationally think about your suggestions. What they do recognize, though, is the attention you’re giving them. That signals to a child that tantrums are an effective way to get the attention they want.

 

2. Don’t Backtrack

 

It’s been five minutes of non-stop whining followed by another five of full-out thrashing and crying. You’ve managed to stay firm so far, ignoring the Oscar-worthy performance in the other room, but you just can’t take it anymore and give in. But when it comes to tantrums, it’s all or nothing. Giving in at any point shows a child that if she just keeps a tantrum going, she’ll eventually get what she wants. And you’ll keep seeing tantrums.

 

3. Don’t Fight Back

 

Very often, a child will throw a tantrum because he’s seeking to find some personal power. Maybe he wanted to pick out his clothes for school, but you did it already because it’s picture day. When he begins to throw the tantrum, you try to reprimand him. Maybe you lose your temper, physically try to stop the tantrum, or threaten random consequences. This only escalates the situation, showing the child that he has the power to upset us. When kids seek attention and power, it doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative. So they will continue in this struggle as long as it keeps working.

 

Covering Ears 554x767 (1)For more tips on taming tantrums and preventing them in the future, as well as ways to bring out the best behavior in your kids, please join us for How to Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. This FREE, positive discipline webinar will be held at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific) on Tuesday, October 21st.

If you’re tired of the yelling, tired of the whining, and just tired of being tired, then this webinar is for you!  From toddler temper-tantrums to teenage talking back, parents wonder what it takes to get kids to cooperate.  If you’re tired of nagging, reminding and yelling to get kids to listen – Look no further.  To learn more and reserve your seat at the FREE webinar:

PLEASE REGISTER HERE FOR THIS FREE VALUABLE PARENTING WEBINAR 

 

Amy McCready-Headshot HiResAmy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and a “recovering yeller.” She is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happy families and well-behaved kids. Her Toolbox strategies have empowered parents worldwide to correct their kids’ misbehaviors without nagging, reminding or yelling. Amy is a regular parenting contributor on The TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Steve Harvey and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys.  Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyMcCreadyPPS.

Share your tantrum stories and successes with us on The Sleep Lady’s Facebook Page. Supporting each other makes parenting so much easier!

 

Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. She is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies. Click here to read more about her.

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