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7 Ways to Deal With Your Child’s Tantrums

7 Ways to Deal With Your Child’s Tantrums

Toddlers and temper tantrums are something that go together. The child is attempting to express their outrage at a complex world through these radioactive-like “melt-downs.” Parents are tasked with remaining calm and patient during these episodes. The toddler is striving toward a sense of independence, yet is far to young to understand that their safety may be at risk. What’s a parent to do? There are proven methods to redirect or distract the child without being punitive. These tips will help a parent get through these tumultuous years, only to face them once more throughout puberty.

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1. Stop it before it starts.

Let the child know ahead of time what is going to happen. “Bedtime is in ten minutes.” or “You can have one more turn before dinner time.” In this way, the child is able to anticipate an event without being surprised by it. Talk with the child throughout an activity. For example, discuss the items that are being shopped for, what is for dinner, or the child’s day. In this way the toddler has more things to think about than becoming angry or frustrated.

2. Distract. Distract. Distract.

 

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    Fortunately, very young children are easily distracted. Put some rice or beans in a Pringles© can, replace the lid, and let the child shake it. Give the child a wooden spoon and pots and pans to bang on for a while. Flip through a magazine and point out the bright pictures. A picture book serves as a great, quiet distraction. Give the child a warm, relaxing bubble path and engage in water play. Take a nature stroll around the backyard.

    3. Provide simple choices.

    Letting a child make their own choices helps them feel more independent and in control. Limit the choices to only two things. Ask, “Would you like to wear the red or the blue shoes today?” The choice to go barefoot has not been provided as an option. Or say, “Do you want milk or apple juice for lunch today?” This eliminates soda as a choice. Instead of asking if he or she wants to wear shoes or a drink for lunch, be specific and limit the child’s options.

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    4. Stay calm and take a breath.

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      Dealing with a rising temper tantrum is difficult for any parent. Breathe and count to ten before confronting the issue. If a parent is upset, the child can pick up on the emotion and become easily frustrated. When it is safe, simply walk out of the room or walk outside. It may be preferable to place the child in his or her crib for a few moments, so you can collect yourself and calmly deal with the situation.

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      5. Allow the child to cry out.

      Letting the child simply cry out his or her frustrations is a kind of release valve in this situation. This is especially true when the tantrum has not been stopped in time. Sometimes it is simply best to ignore the child and allow him or her to cry out the anger and frustration. Stay in the room, but walk a few feet away while refraining from making eye contact. You might try not talking to the child until the tantrum is over and then engage the child in an enjoyable activity.

      6. Give a hug.

      While it is possible that your toddler may be engaged in some unlovable behavior, a firm hug may be just the thing. Scientists say that a hug helps the child feel more in control. The step helps the child feel better in a time when they may be feeling powerless and unhappy. A simple hug is also a way to let the child know that it’s okay to get upset sometimes.

      7. Offer a snack.

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        Being hungry or tired are at the top the list for a toddler having a blow-out. Provide a fruit cup, yogurt, or other healthy snack and allow the child to eat quietly. It’s a kind of time-out for both parent and child, as the child is allowed a little space to breathe or think things through. Often dealing with a temper tantrum need not be drawn out or complicated.

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        Last Updated on December 9, 2019

        5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

        5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

        Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

        Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

        Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

        1. Get Rationally Optimistic

        Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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        This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

        In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

        The result: no more mental stress.

        2. Unplug

        Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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        How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

        It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

        Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

        3. Easy on the Caffeine

        Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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        Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

        4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

        That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

        How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

        • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
        • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
        • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

        While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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        5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

        This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

        The result: mental stress will be gone!

        So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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        Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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