We have all had those moments when we wish we could scream and throw a tantrum like our children do when something doesn’t go their way. However, as parents we know what is and is not socially acceptable. Our children, however, are not programmed to know that throwing themselves down to the ground in the cookie aisle because you said “no,” is frowned upon.
As parents, we need to teach them how to handle situations that may upset them and what an appropriate way to handle disappointment is. Children learn from what they see and if we show them how we control our emotions they will have a better understanding.
If something upsets your child, validate their feelings and explain to them that you can see they are upset. Let them know that there are ways to get their feelings out. Work with your child to help problem solve during the situation to try to prevent a full blown tantrum. This may take some practice but once it becomes a routine, your child will be able to self-regulate and hopefully minimize the likelihood of the tantrums.
Some clam-down techniques you can teach your child include:
- Count to 3, 5, 10, 20, etc.
- Sing the ABC’s forwards or backwards
- Go for a walk
- Listen to music
- Go to a quiet place
- Read a book
- Ask for a hug
- Close your eyes
- Do a puzzle
- Take five deep breaths
- Blow bubbles
- Look at a calming sensory bottle
- Make funny faces in the mirror