Tantrums are the hallmark of the toddler years, but let’s be honest, they follow us all the way into adulthood! Shannon Carr from RISE Child chatted with me the other day to give me some great tips on how to deal with tantrums at all stages!
See 3 of her tips here and join the MOM’s Club to watch the whole webinar!
First understand the brain…
When we are upset, we are functioning on the RIGHT brain. Logic and linear thinking is difficult when the right brain takes over.
Our kiddos through age 3 are dominated by the right brain, so they live through their feelings, focus on nonverbal cues and are engulfed by their experiences. But you know this if you’ve ever tried to tell a 2 year old that he can’t pick up that goose poop and all hell breaks loose.
How to Deal with Tantrums…
Pause and connect. Physically get down on their level, if possible, to talk to them. They want to be heard and understood and coming down to be face to face with them gives that right brain cue that you are there for them.
Now this is hard…because tantrums come on in the worst of places and the busiest of times. Sometimes we have to shut out what is going on around us to focus on the helping our kids through the moment – and sometimes you need to get out of that space and away from all the distractions.
Next, empathize with them. Help them identify what what is happening and how they are feeling.
“I see that you are crying and are very upset”
“You look like you are frustrated about not getting a cookie” (that sentence is a daily occurrence in my house!)
Their feelings are very real to them, no matter how silly the situation may seem to you! Respect their feelings instead of telling them “you’re ok” or “don’t be upset” – this will let them know it is ok to be sad or frustrated or upset and they can come to you when they are.
I’m gonna be honest, this one is hard for me! Let them do the solving!
I love to solve problems, especially if it makes the crying stop, but the best outcome is when they are able to come to a solution themselves!
Now we likely have to help them along – choices are a great way to do this.
When you break things down, you can make anything a choice.
- “We can’t watch a video right now but you can play puzzles or trucks?”
- “Do you want to walk to the car or should mom carry you?”
- “We need to change your diaper, do you want to bring your puppy or bear with us?”
- “We need to clean up for dinner, do you want to stop playing in 3 minutes or 5 minutes?”
As they get older, ask them how they can resolve the problem, I bet you’ll be surprised at what they come up with!
See more from Shannon Carr and RISE Child below!