A cranky kid can be a nightmare. You might find yourself frustrated by having no idea how to handle their outbursts. Here are some tips on how to calm your child down when they are having an emotional breakdown.
Keep Your Cool
Studies have shown that when we stress out, our kids feel it. If your kid is freaking out in the middle of the cereal aisle and you start reacting in a stressed out manner, it can make things worse. If things start to escalate, it can turn into a shouting match between adult and child. If you start reciprocating their behavior, you are also rewarding it. When your child needs to chill out, you need to keep your cool.
Don't Walk Away
Many people will tell you that you should walk away during a tantrum. Sticking around might teach them that their temper tantrum is working. But Dr. Tina Bryson, a Ph.D. in psychotherapy, believes that walking away isn’t the right decision. She believes that a tantrum is suffering that needs to be addressed. She also believes that this is a way to communicate that even through the hard times, you are there for your child
Don’t Ignore Aggression
If your child is hitting you or biting, do not ignore this. They need to learn that there are ways that they can express their anger and ignoring this behavior can risk someone getting hurt. Set limits, use consequences, and be aware of their triggers so you can prepare to help calm them down.
Don’t Try To Reason
The cerebral cortex is not yet developed in a child. This part of the brain is what regulates emotions and control social behavior. If you try to reason with your child while they are going through a wide array of emotions, it’s not going to work. With all of the activity in the brain, it is almost impossible to see any logic. Once they have calmed down, this is when you can start having a conversation about how they feel.
Establish The Trigger
Once your child has been given a moment to calm down, talk to them and ask them about how they feel. What is it that upset them so much? How did it make them feel? Get to the root of the problem and help them figure out what to do about their feelings.
Give Them Choices
Once you know why your child is behaving the way that they are, give them a choice on what to do about it. Ask them if they would like to go on a walk or go sit outside for a moment. You can give them options which also gives them a sense of control while also teaching them healthy coping mechanisms for future outbursts.
What works with your kids when they have a temper tantrum? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below!