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How to safely physically restrain a child who is throwing a fit. You are not alone.

Updated on May 15, 2014

The wrap down

Get ready a fit is being thrown. Raise those old arms up high and spread them out. Get ready to wrap them and your legs around your goal. Serious here. Arms go around arms and legs go around legs and you hold them tight to your body. This is a take down. You are now laying on the ground with a body gnashing and unyielding but their face is pointed away from you and your arms are wrapped tightly at elbow level and your legs are wrapped around his knee level and your head is as far back as possible. Let the thrashing continue.

Containment and control. If you think this is about being in control you are wrong it is to give the child the smallest area possible to be in control of themselves --- which is themselves and that gives confidence that they can control themselves, believe me they want to.

Go ahead and cry. But always remember the finest adults you ever met did this behavior. It does not mean a thing. That is unless you handle it badly.

Control of your self and your child.

Safely restraining a child is logical. But keep the emotion, just keep it in check. Show it. Forcing a child to do something is usually a good thing to do. Really it is.

(please note that there is nothing safe about this method. It is to be used only when really needed for safety and long term teaching of control.)

Hey you are not alone here. The best of children pull this stunt. Don't grab their arms and pull. That is dangerous. Listen up it is common sense. Let us take a four year old and bath time. Chances are with a bath they do not want to get in and they will not want to get out. (hey reflect on that -- it means they are in the moment of what they are doing and are happy and want to keep doing it -- unless it is TV and then we have other issues ;-)

So you are going to gather your wits, be angry and you are going to march right over there and pick the child completely off the ground in a semi-rough manner restraining them as you can so as not to get hurt and plop them down in that bathtub and hold them there for thirty seconds with one hand while roughly cleaning with the other.

"roughly?" you exclaim! Yes and perhaps brusquely would be a better term. It needs to be a get it done attitude. And the anger needs to stay with you. It will give you strength and resolve and get the point across that certain behaviors are correct and others are met with equal resolve and negativity. A great lesson for a child to learn in such a safe domestic and safe environs.

Now about the time that their anger dissolves and they are playing water games with toys. Let your anger devolve also. Prove that happiness begets happiness just as bad behavior begets consequences. 99 times out of 100 the child will now be happy and in ten minutes you will face a fight to get them out. At that point just leave them. You know the kind of leave I mean. Step out of the bathroom with a keen disguised eye upon them while ignoring them. Go ahead and giggle if you must.

Half the size is still a child

One stolen cookie -big deal, pick your battles.
One stolen cookie -big deal, pick your battles. | Source

We just got to tell you.

Fantastic! We around here have helped or fully raised about 15 children and are blessed with a four year old to lavish our love upon. The 15 are so different and so wonderful and diverse. Some hold national posts some have doctorates some are artists some are nannies and some executives and others housewives. We love them all.

But to a single one they all threw fits. I literally learned at 18 how to take down a fit throwing child. I learned from the best child psychologists as I worked as a lead in a youth correction concept through janitoring. And the kids should have been in lock down and some were huge. The technique worked and worked well. OK we got one head butt broken nose and one dislocated finger but who counts.

My point is that all was done in love and it pays off. We like to say "not tough love just rough love so they know you are not going anywhere"

He did not want to go on this hike

Then he did not want to go home!
Then he did not want to go home! | Source

Have you ever thrown a fit? hmmmm?

Really you probably have, can you remember it?

See results

Lighten up on yourself.

A fit is not a negative reflection on you, you are wonderful if you are even reading this. You are searching and looking and trying to do your best and you do it in love. Or else you would not read this whacko account of love.

We are given choices. Yes it is important to test to check how deep water is before diving into it. But it is not important to check the temperature. Dive in and love with all you got and fits will be fits. And you shall be you.

Cliffs are cliffs, do they stop you from your desired destination?

We get to where we are going. Where to you plan to get to?
We get to where we are going. Where to you plan to get to? | Source


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim my hat is in my hand and off to you. I actually use a sit down technique. It works for me. When big men like you and me lower ourselves there begins a tiny connection. thank you so much for commenting.

    • Tim Knowles profile image

      Tim Knowles 3 years ago from Gallup, New Mexico

      I've gone through the Crisis Prevention Intervention training to deal with children at school who are experiencing distress and going out of control. It's amazing how many adults can make things worse by escalating a situation with a distressed kid and getting in their face. Usually, it's over something minor, but quickly turns into something very volatile. More than once, I've seen $7-an hour security guards back a kid into a corner in a power struggle. I've talked a couple of kids off a second-floor balcony who were threatening to jump to their deaths. Stressful, but some days that's just how it goes.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise thank you for visiting and commenting. I am afraid my humor largely comes from having not boundaries or walls, perhaps I should get somew ;-)

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      You have such off the wall humor, Eric! It is good to know that all children throw fits, not just mine! The first time our oldest did it, we laughed, we couldn't believe it! The rest were not so laughable. It gets old after a while!