Cure for the Common Tantrum
Have you ever been caught out in public with your proverbial parent pants down watching helplessly as your kid slips into what can only be referred to as an apocalyptic meltdown, only to see strangers giving you the stink eye?
It’s embarrassing. I hate that feeling. I want to shrink into the surroundings and pretend that I don’t know who my kid is.
Many a time I have employed the 1, 2 knock out method. 1) I ask beg them nicely to stop 2) I demand them to stop with threat of extinction 3) I am knocked the hell out by how loud and obnoxious my kids can be when they want to get attention.
Soothing is conditional at best. No one wants to be the crazy lady caught on tape yelling at her willful child to “Shut the f*ck Up!”
After we have exited the building and we are all exhausted from the emotional drain of our battle of the wills, then I always think of 105 things that I could have done to avoid the entire situation.
Of course, by then it is too late. So, I have drawn up a list of things that I have thought up and a few that I have actually even employed to avoid the horror and unnecessary strain of tantrums.
Breathe: Count to 10 and remember that you are an adult and they are just a tired little kid. Repeat after me, YOU.Are.An.Adult and this will pass. I promise.
Stay calm and carry on: I am NOT the mom who gets down on my knees with an unlimited supply of patience and understanding. I wish I was, but you will be surprised by how much you remaining calm will have a ripple effect on your child.
No one wants to be the fool having a meltdown if you’re not responding to irrational behavior. Validate their feelings, “I know you are frustrated/angry but can you please tell Mommy what’s wrong?”
I can’t hear you: Pretend that it’s not happening or tell your child that you can’t hear him when he is being whiny and ask that they use their words.
The switch up: Begin singing, Baby got back as loudly as possible while shaking your butt. If your kid does not immediately start laughing, sing louder. She will stop what she’s doing and start laughing.
Walk away: If your child starts to throw a tantrum in a public place, tell them you are leaving. I don’t care if you’re there to pick up that kid’s birthday cake on the way to the party, walk away.
You’ve got to follow through so that she knows that bad behavior is not acceptable. Once I waited in line for a ride for an hour and at the point of entry, my child decided to talk back. We left the line.
I was punished too but sometimes, you have to take one for the team.
I’m sure there are many other ways to avoid or stop a tantrum in its tracks and I would love to hear what you do. How do you survive tantrums and maintain your Mommy cool?
Photo Source: Amy McTigue