So you and your child have weathered the storm of a public tantrum, but how do you both get back to port? How you respond to tantrums after the “heat of the moment” can also prevent future tantrums. Remember that tantrums can be both emotionally and physically draining for parents and children. Allow some time for everyone to recover. Post-tantrum strategies can be broken into two categories, “teachable moments” and “getting back to good”.
“Teachable moments” help the child learn from the experience so he can respond differently in the future. Do not give in or let the tantrum serve its original purpose. For example, if your child was throwing a tantrum for a candy bar, do not reward him for calming down by giving him the candy. This teaches him to tantrum more in the future because when he calms he will get what he wants. Instead, talk to your child about other appropriate alternatives to access wants and needs.
“Getting back to good” strategies help to maintain a positive relationship through the storms. Talk about feelings and ways to appropriately express them. Reassure your child that you love him or unconditionally. The behavior may be inappropriate, but that does not change the fact that you love him or her.
Remember to consider what works best for you and your child! These are just a few of many options! No one strategy will be a good fit your every family. Your strategies should fit your needs and comfort level! While tantrums are a part of development, consider the frequency and intensity of tantrum behaviors. If your child is having difficulty participating in daily routines due to tantrums or you have concerns about his or her development, we can help! Remember, Babies Can’t Wait! Contact the Parent Education –Infant Development Program of the RACSB: http://www.racsb.state.va.us/