Responding to tantrums is by far the hardest task for most parents. Unfortunately often parents don’t know how to deal with them properly and end up yelling or hitting
Instead use the 5 second delay to respond to tantrums.
Use 5 seconds to pause – take 3 deep breaths and consider these 4 vital points
1) Which emotions am I feeling right now?
2) Is my child tired, hungry, and overstimulated or needs to connect with me?
3) How would I feel if I was in his/her position?
4) What do I really want to do now? Do I really want to yell or hit the child?
Before reacting to any tantrum or outburst, take a moment to evaluate your mental and emotional state. Are you as a parent already stressed or upset or overwhelmed? If you are – chances are that you will respond to your child’s tantrum by yelling or unburdening your stress on them. Before reacting to your child’s tantrum – take a deep breath and consider why the child is expressing him/herself like this.
Is the child overwhelmed? Is the child hungry/ sleepy? Is the child too active? Whatever the cause maybe behind the sudden tantrum – yelling or hitting or go stand in the naughty corner are not the viable solutions. Instead respond to tantrums with kind communication and patience.
Here are few ways to cope with tantrums
1) Provide the child with positive attention
2) Do not resort to hitting or yelling
3) If you are getting too overwhelmed, step away from the child, take deep breathes, regulate your emotions and then be with them
4) Let your child know that you are there for them and with them
5) Hold space for your child, now is not the time to leave your child on your own and expect them to deal with their tantrum all by themselves.
6) Be present by holding their hands or just by being nearby them
7) Try to engage them in fun activities
8) Ask them to communicate their demands clearly
As adults, with our load of responsibilities, it is not easy to be patient all the time – that is why the 5 second rule is very handy. It helps us gather our emotions, evaluate them and gives us time to collect our self before reacting. Our children need us to respond and not to react.