Let’s be real. Dealing with a tantrum in the middle of the grocery is never easy. Remember the last time your child had a temper tantrum. Was your stress level high? Did you feel helpless?
Most parents I talk to agree that these anger explosions happen mainly when a child is told “NO.” So, what’s a parent to do? I’ve found that adults respond out of anger and guilt. Parents also, struggle to manage the voice of guilt which makes them feel like a “failure” and helpless.
Here are five brain-based tools that my clients have used to stop temper tantrums fast!
- Emotion Regulation-It’s important for kids to know that they are in control of their feelings and emotions. They must also understand that they have the power to make choices on how they will respond to frustration, disappoints, etc.
- Help Child Know Their Triggers-Parenting always offers opportunities to teach your child on different levels. Many parents don’t realize the benefits of understanding how the brain impacts behavior. Parents who can teach their child how to recognize his or her amygdala-based threats and respond appropriately, will help move their child to a higher level of thinking and responding to threats.
- Model Expected Behavior-Were you aware that children do what you do and not what you say? One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is being a positive role model. For example, if you want your child to treat others with respect, you must model the same behavior.
- Connect with Felling’s-If a person feels stuck, he or she will do whatever is necessary to get unstuck. In many cases, children lack the vocabulary to express how they feel. This makes it critical that parents help children put words to feelings. Parents can say things like “you seem really happy; you seem very disappointed, you look excited, etc.” The goal is for parents to put words to the emotion the child is expressing.
- Teach Healthy Conflict Resolution-The goal is for children to identify their emotions and learn to control how they express their emotions. Feelings are a part of the human experience. Parents need to let children know that they have a right to their feelings. At the same time, they must control what they do to express those feelings. Specifically, when children are experiencing conflict, they need choices. Parents can say “yelling isn’t working, her are two things you can do.” When children have a clear choice, they are better able focus, calm down, and follow through. Choices also allow the opportunity to teach personal responsibility.