Parenting is amazing, fulfilling and full of love right? Of course it is, but it’s also really hard and comes with lots of challenges. One of the things we get asked about most is how to deal with tantrums.
So… we thought it might be helpful to share some of our top tips to help to ease these moments and hopefully reduce the amount of them.
The first thing to note is that tantrums are a normal, and actually pretty important part of children’s development. It shows that children are finding their own voice, learning to manage their emotions and starting to express what they want or don’t want. However, these tips will hopefully help to reduce stress while all this is going on!
So here we go, our top tips to diffuse strops:
- Stay Calm – I know what you’re thinking, this is easier said than done. And you’re right, this can take a lot of self-control, but will help you as much as it will help your little one. The rest of the tips are all built to help you stay calm.
- Give them time and space to calm but stay nearby – sometimes children just need time and space to express their feelings. It’s important to give them this time and space while staying nearby to ensure they are safe. Often, the more adults try to persuade children to stop tantruming, the worse the tantrum gets. This step hopefully reduces that as it allows the child to express their frustration whilst knowing an adult is still nearby.
- Let them know you are there when they are ready – The other part of staying nearby is to let them know that you are there. You can say things like “I know you are cross but I’m here for cuddles when you are ready” or “I know you are sad that you can’t watch TV but when you are ready we can talk about it.”. This helps them to know that you understand how they feel, are happy to give them time and space they need but will be ready when they need you.
- Give lots of love and cuddles – Remember, however small the reason for the tantrum seems to us, it is massive to your little one, so once they are ready give them cuddles and love to show them that you understand and help them to continue to calm down.
- Talk about what happened – Once they are calm, talk about what happened. This of course needs to be child appropriate, but it is important, even with the youngest children to talk about feelings. Acknowledging how the child was feeling helps them to be able to express this as they grow up and therefore will often reduce the number of future tantrums. It’s also good to talk to the child about how they could deal with these emotions differently in the future (that might be a blog for another day!).
- Move on! – It’s really important that once you’ve had chance to cuddle and discuss what happened, you move on. Play a nice game together, watch a favourite programme or play with your favourite toys, don’t dwell on what happened or keep going over it.
Lastly, don’t worry about getting it wrong. These tips are here to help and give you a bit of support in dealing one of the most challenging parts of parenting but we don’t all get it right all the time. Do what works for you, adapt the tips to suit you and your child and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t go to plan and the staying calm goes out the window. Just try again next time!
I hope this helps, our team are always around to try and offer support and advice if you need it and if there are any other areas you would love us to cover in our blogs just let us know.
Muddy Boots Acomb Manager