Nursery Admissions - How do you tackle your kid's tantrums?
School interview question for parents
After having a hand in raising 6 children (4 of my own) and having all of them arrive into adulthood as healthy, hard working and caring human beings, I would be secure in passing on my secret to tantrums.
Ignore them. When the child (even as babies) throws a tantrum, you remove all signs of attention. No eye contact, no voice, and if possible (without endangering the child) leave the room. Do not give the child any feedback at all - not negative or positive. And when the tantrum subsides, wait until the child has regained composure before interacting with them once more and don't even mention the tantrum.
If the tantrum was caused by an event i.e. not wanting to dress, eat, go or whatever, do not let the outcome be a 'win' for the child. Calmly proceed with the required task as if the tantrum had never happened. In most cases (unless child is really stubborn) the child will not repeat the behaviour in this particular time frame. If they do, just repeat the ignore process.
If you are consistent with this method and never let the child 'win', in a very short period of time they will stop having tantrums.
Tantrums are a child's version of ultimate manipulation and emotional blackmail. They will only continue with the behaviour if it brings results. Teaching children this lesson early in life will help with their ultimate development into their teen years.
Make sure you give plenty of praise, love and attention for good behaviour and when a child completes a task that previously involved a tantrum, make sure your praise and attention is huge.
But remember - never mention or acknowledge the tantrum as this will be seen as a partial 'win' in the child's mind. You don't want a situation where the child connects the negative behaviour with any favourable outcome.
This worked for me and my children learned from a very young age that good behaviour brings the most emotional reward. This was handy during the 'teen' years and I had very little problems with rebellion and risky behaviours - and no drug problems.
Apart from teaching a child that desirable behaviour gives the most reward, it also teaches the child that self control is rewarding. This is the secret to a happy, healthy teen and subsequently a happy adult.
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