Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dealing with Tantrums

     I've been realizing a pattern in what I do that seems to work with my children dealing with tantrums or crying spells.  I'm not sure if it'll work for anyone else, but I thought it might be a good jumping off point for someone.
       This morning Elise and Tyler were fighting over some coloring pages she was sure were hers and he was sure, were his.  Finding his handwritten marks that meant they were his, I handed them over to him, to which Elise wailed and wailed.  After Taison tried to get her to stop with distractions and hugs, I remembered how sometimes my kids just need to cry for a bit and then with a few hugs or words they can move on.

1. Decide what is right- If both are to blame, they can both go sit for a while to calm down. If one is right, then expect sadness from the other.
2. State the direction-"You need to give that back. We can't get more right now but maybe later."
3. Let them be sad but not for too long.
4. Hug or hold for a few minutes then put down.
5. Let them cry for a few more minutes, then state it's time to be done crying.  For some reason my kids needed to know sometimes that it's ok to feel sad, but now it was time to be done crying.
6. Try to get them talking-Talking will help them slow down their breathing, and think things through. Ask them why they are sad. 
Wait a few moments then state how they are feeling and why for them.  "Why are you crying?" (usually mine don't remember)  "You are sad because you wanted those kitty pictures."  
Ask a question about details- makes them think carefully about their answer, a distraction from crying. "Did you want the kitty picture with the girl in it or the bow?" 
7. Restate the directions and why- "Should we print some more off later today?  Ok maybe we can do that later today.  Right now we need to eat breakfast."
8. Move on to another topic- "I can't believe Christmas is over.  Should we keep up the tree a little longer?  Maybe we could put it away next week. "  "Tomorrow you boys start basketball practice.  You can practice shooting baskets after school today."

Things to Avoid
Trying to talk to them over their loudest crying
Holding them the whole time they cry
Not holding them or hugging at all makes them feel too alone
Giving in to what they want
Trying to distract or bribe them during their loudest crying

And lastly, understand that
Tantrums usually relate to 3 things
1. You didn't feed them when they needed to
2. You didn't put them down for a nap or bed when they they needed it
3. You've been off in your own  world too long, not paying attention to them.
If you can keep tabs on these things, chances are it will nip a whole of crying in bud and help these little guys feel better.

No comments:

Post a Comment