by Michele Borba, Ed.D.
Temper Tantrums are sure to be in the top of parents' list of "obnoxious, embarrassing kid behaviors." These are really Oscar-winning performances at their best: ear-piercing screaming, thrashing, and out-of-control behavior. And when your kid uses his routine at school, ballpark or supermarket, it's just plain humiliating. You should expect your one to three-year-old to try this behavior on you. And it's equally as common in girls as in boys. Older kids can also resort back to the "tantrum stage" especially if there's been a recent stress or change in their lives. (We can all name an adult or two who's yelled, slammed doors and broken something. Right?) But whether your kid continues using outbursts to get his way depends on how you react the first times she tries it. After all, a tantrum is a really a device kids use to get what they want because they've learned it works. Once they learn that it succeeds–translation: they get their way-they're likely to try it again (and again and again). There goes any semblance of "Home Sweet Home." The truth is there are no redeeming features to this behavior. Tantrums only cause stares and headaches, and teaches kids a bad lesson: "Throw yourself on the floor. Scream and yell. Thrash about and you'll get your way." are the steps taming those outbursts my latest book from The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries,
Parenting Solutions to help Tame Temper Tantrums
BEFORE the Tantrum
Your best defense is to anticipate a tantrum's onset before your child is in full meltdown mode.
Recognize your child's natural temperament. Some kids are just more intense and have a tougher time calming down and handling frustrations. If so, give advance warning for an upcoming event; allow transition time from one activity to another; follow an active activity with a calmer one; don't skip the naps. Avoid situations that might cause temper flare-ups.
Recognize your kid's tantrum signs. Each child has unique stress or "I'm about to loose-it" signs (clenched fists, a certain whimper or whine, waving hands). Once you can identify your child's "tantrum is approaching signs" you're in the best place to defuse it or ward it off.
Check your expectations. Asking your child to sit too long in a fancy restaurant, shopping cart, or car seat is just asking for trouble. Make sure your expectations for your child are in line with their capabilities.READ More on Temper Tantrums – Will You Survive the Terrible Twos?