You are strolling at a mall and while enjoying the chilly and extravagant vibe, your kid suddenly plopped himself on the floor, flailing his arms and limbs and screamed at the top of their lungs followed by loud screeches and cries. Familiar? Oh, if this isn’t the most humiliating moment as a parent trying to unwind with their child. Pacifying your kids in the middle of their tantrums is a difficult thing to master. It takes time, analyzing your child’s antics, and patience… and when we talk of patience… we mean A LOT OF IT.
But don’t worry, outbursts are normal for young children because it is a period of separation and individualization. There are times when kids become increasingly mobile and seek to have more control over their environment. When a toddler realizes that they can’t do certain things on his own and their parents won’t let them have everything they want, the child experiences frustration. On top of that, it is the time when language is actively developing and they express frustration through tantrums. When they become frustrated and unable to express themselves correctly, that leads to tantrums and meltdowns.
But really, how can parents be able to handle and overcome this situation at home, especially in public? Here are 6 effective ways that you should consider for that next tantrum attack!
1. The louder they yell, the softer you should speak.
Remember, you cannot fight fire with fire. If your child started their episode, be calm and try to get out of the place and try offering them the option of sitting on a bench, in the car, or on a chair as they settle down. Having choices like these may help as they will feel more satisfied and relaxed.
2. Divert their attention.
If they started throwing a fit, always prepare your diversion kit! Bring toys and snacks that they love, so if they are on their meltdown episode, you got something to divert their attention with! You can also prevent it from happening by trying to tell them stories or pointing at interesting things right after you turn down their request of buying yet another sugary treat. Children’s attention span is short and they are easy to distract. You just have to channel your inner actress and entertainer with some props!
3. Give them space.
A child just needs to let their anger out, so let them! Just be sure that your little one won’t cause any trouble let alone hurt themselves or others. Through this approach, your child will learn how to vent in a non-destructive way. They are able to let their feelings out, get themselves together and regain self-control without engaging in a yelling match with you.
4. Identify the triggers.
Tantrums will always be there. However, parents can prevent and lessen the intensity of outbursts. One way to do this is to identify the triggers. Are there certain situations or activities that result in your child’s frustration? If so, identify these triggers and teach yourself to recognize them then plan as to how you will respond. This way, it will be easier to pacify kids during a meltdown.
5. Offer them food or rest
Exhaustion and hunger are the ingredients of an intense outburst. If you’re at home, it will be easier to remedy because a kitchen and room are available whenever you need it. However, if in public, you may want to prepare snacks and small pillows and stuffed toys for them.
6. Caress them or hug them tight!
A big, warm, and comfy hug is the best medicine to a meltdown. When you do it, never say a word and just hug your little one. It will help them settle down. Hugs will make them feel secure and let them know that you care about them by providing them a safe space to let their feelings out.
As parents, you should never fear your child’s tantrums. It is just their way of telling you that they are frustrated about something and you have to do something about it. The thought of being embarrassed should be the last thing on the list, and it shouldn’t influence you as to how you deal with your toddler’s outbursts. Instead, analyze your child’s antics and behavior, use the right diversion tools and actions to pacify kids—and voila! You are equipped to help the little ones deal with their emotions and be independent in a wholesome way (and to go about another day at the mall without feeling humiliated). *winks