Parenting Tips To Curb Tantrums and Stop Whining!
Kids and adults alike have ups and downs emotionally. And in both cases, it happens when what we want doesn’t coincide with what we get.
But it’s when our emotional cushioning is low that we break down in tantrum.
Your kid could be having a great morning with you and he or she experiences something unwanted and it could be the end of the world.
Early childhood is a lot about emotional regulation! They are trying on emotions as fast as they are trying on super hero costumes.
And like super heroes their emotions are their super powers. That’s why I would never tell a kid that what they are feeling is wrong or bad. They are allowed to feel whatever they are feeling. But they also have a choice: do they decide to stay stuck feeling miserable or do something about feeling better? And We have a choice as well:
I would like to help you if you need me or I would like to be away from you while you are acting this way.
Teach your child they are a powerful chooser of life decisions.
Here are 3 key strategies to stay calm during the storm as a parent:
1. If you can stay calm you are teaching them that their experience is not your experience. And while you can show empathy towards their discomfort, you are showing them that you are in control of your reactions.
This is very powerful.
2. I would encourage self soothing in times of distress. Ask them what they could do to feel better about the situation. Would you like a hug from me or would you like to be left alone. And see what they say.
3. I would start teaching them how empowering it is to reframe and shift gears when something isn’t working or when they can’t get their way. Let’s say your kid had a tantrum because their older cousin beat them at basketball. And they think it’s not fair, they feel like they cheated, they weren’t nice, etc..
After you go through the explanation of winning and losing you can also say: you don’t have to play with your cousin, it’s your choice. But if you choose to play with him you have to be ok that he might win again until you get better and you win. So either play something else, don’t play or be ok with the possibility that they win. As humans we are wired for mastery, so chances are they might want to play again but now it’s not from a place of feeling powerless but from a desire of mastery.