Temper Tantrums

Three Tips to Stop Temper Tantrums

temper tantrumsIn our last blog post, we looked at the three mistakes parents make when trying to manage their children’s occasionally volcanic temper tantrums. (View the previous post HERE).

Now that you know what not to do, how do we stop little Alexis as she unleashes her next natural disaster of a temper tantrum—whether she’s a pre-schooler demanding a new toy from the store or a teenager crying for the keys to the family car?

The thing to remember is that when your child starts huffing and puffing, he’s not trying to blow your house down; he’s seeking power and attention. With that in mind, use these three tips to stop – and prevent – those terrible temper tantrums:

  • Temper Tantrum-Taming Tip #1: Provide positive power. When we give our kids positive control throughout the day, they are less likely to end up thundering in the breakfast aisle because you won’t buy the newest chocolate and marshmallow cereal. Use choices to give your child control over his world: Should you read Where the Wild Things Are or Dr. Seuss? Milk or water with lunch? Older children can help plan family activities – like what restaurant you should all go to tonight.
  • Temper Tantrum-Taming Tip #2: Be bored. When you’re in public and the whining starts, make it clear that you are totally unimpressed. Remember that your child may have a right to have a tantrum, but you have a right not to participate in it. If you can, retire to your car – even if it means leaving your cart – and let her wreak her havoc where it won’t hurt anyone (or their ears). Then resume your activity. When your child realizes she’s still not getting that cereal, she’ll be less likely to exert the effort next time.
  • Temper Tantrum-Taming Tip #3: Restrain your reaction. The most important tool for dealing with a tantrum is to withhold the attention your child seeks – instead, provide no reaction at all. No words, no eye contact. If you can, simply walk away; a tantrum isn’t nearly as rewarding when you remove the audience. To seal the deal, though, you’ll need to take time daily to provide positive attention to your children. When they proactively get the attention they need, they’ll have no need to start yelling for it later.

By following these tips, we are able to put a swift stop to Tropical Storm Alexis – and her temper tantrums – no emergency evacuation required. Providing positive power and removing the attention pay-off tames those temper tantrums and prevents future ones.

About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.