- Pre-empt the need
We often know what our toddler has tantrums about and what triggers it. If not, start to notice what triggers it, is it lack of sleep, overstimulation, a rushed schedule or a lack of clarity on the situation? When we know what triggers it, we can plan through trial and error on how to eliminate these situations. Who do we need to talk to? What do we need to arrange differently? What conversations do we need to have with them about the situation? Having conversations with them and finding a way to meet their need differently will result in far fewer tantrums. It takes less energy to do a bit of planning than to continually manage tantrums, even if we are not used to it at the start
- Clarity of your rules
Often we think our rules are clear but are they clear to our children? Are they black and white? Are we consistent? When your child is having tantrums regularly about the same thing, it is an indicator that there is more learning needed/lack of clarity on their part. Have a rule in one statement. In our house, we have sweets twice a week. Repeat that statement often. In moments before going to the shop speak about the rule and ask questions and build their perspective
- Strategies for the in the moment conversation
The golden rule for in the moment is: NEVER go into the lesson in the moment. The goal is to acknowledge them and state the rule. I know you want….. In our house we……I can see you are upset, what can you do? Don’t be tempted to make suggestions. When your children are in an emotional state their brains are not open to learning or reason. We can always do the learning afterwards. Sometimes we need to reassure ourselves that we are doing the right thing, otherwise, we may feel embarrassed or guilty. It is okay they are upset we know we will have a conversation afterwards to develop their learning later
- Have an after conversation to build perspective
After a tantrum, it is important to have a conversation to develop their learning about the situation. The goal is for them to become aware of what they wanted and how else they could get what they want. A tantrum is the indicator of their NEED. It is our role to teach them how to meet that need effectively. The after conversation happens when we are in rapport with them. It can be short, there can be a few conversations depending on their attention. It can be later that day or the next day or both. They may not be able to verbally articulate the solution but asking them questions develops their thinking – that is the goal. They can sometimes come up with an idea the next day. Give them the space to think about it! Don’t be attached to the immediate result. We are developing them!Tantrums are a part of a child’s development, when we approach each tantrum as a learning opportunity rather than needing it to go away, our frustrations reduce. Our role as a parent is to facilitate learning not to have perfect happy kids!
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About the Author
Gail is a Family Relationship Coach specialising in Parent-Child Relationships. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring parents to develop children’s self-awareness. She believes that this can be achieved by balancing parent’s needs with children’s development and happiness. Understanding how to synchronise our thoughts and emotions and what drives them ensures our happiness, and our children reaching their full potential. Gail is a Qualified NLP Practitioner, NLP Life Coach and Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner with over 10 years of experience and success at applying these techniques to children’s learning and behaviour. Her success with her own son is proof of the possibility of true potential