Successfully Diffuse Your Child’s Tantrums At Parties
Why do our kids have temper tantrums?
Public outings are a part of life. We run errands, have appointments, attend birthday parties, and so much more, which makes the unexpected public tantrum that much more scary. When our children begin to cry, drawing the attention of every bystander within earshot, it can be embarrassing and cause us to panic. Yet, a tantrum does not have to be quite so traumatic or dramatic. While unpleasant, blowing up is often our child’s natural reaction to being overwhelmed. They are overwhelmed with emotions or overly tired and they lose all sense of rationale.
Kids aren't the only ones that go through these heightened emotions
A child throwing a fit can be likened to an adult who is overstressed to the point of snapping. Once they hit that point they may throw an adult-like tantrum and behave in a way they would normally never dream of behaving. Recognizing that not even adults are immune to blow-ups helps us have more empathy for our children.
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You can use these tips to help your child recover from temper tantrums
Now that we’ve agreed that we’re all susceptible to being overwhelmed to the point of tantrum, what should you do the next time your child throws one? Here are five ways to handle your next public tantrum:
1. Show empathy, not apathy – for all tantrums
Ignoring your screaming child can make the tantrum worse and also teach them that throwing a tantrum is acceptable behaviour. Instead let your child know you hear them and try to understand what is causing their behaviour.
2. Keep your cool – they need you to show them a better way
When your child is in the middle of a full blown public tantrum, it is hard to remain calm, but the more stressed out you become, the more your child will react to the energy you are exerting. Your ability to remain calm will impact your child’s ability regain their composure. Also, move to a quieter space if necessary to aid the calm environment you are trying to create.
3. Just breathe – it will be over soon
When throwing a tantrum, emotions are running high. Your child needs to transition from chaos to calm, and breathing can help. Ask them to practice taking deep breaths with you. This will look different depending on the age of your child, but once you get them to take deep breaths with you then you’ll both be a little more centered and calm.
4. Stay firm about rules and respect
In the moment, when trying to sooth your screaming child in the midst of their very public tantrum, it can be tempting to give them what they want. However, doing so will set a precedent. It will teach your child that if they throw a tantrum they will get what they want, and I’m sure that is not a precedent you want to set!
5. Reward good behaviour when they calm down from the tantrum
Once your little one has successfully overcome their public tantrum, reward them. Do not reward them with gifts, but with praise. Being able to manage their emotions and frustrations is a big accomplishment and they should be rewarded. Let them know how well they did and how proud of them you are.
I hope the next time your little one throws a public tantrum this advice will help you navigate those bumpy waters!