Your Kid’s Tantrum is Making You Crazy
First and foremost stay calm. Right now your child is losing their mind and you need to realize no sane reaction or logic will stop this until they are ready. Having 4 small children between us has provided us with ample amount of first-hand experience on the dos and don’ts of getting through the storm.
Divert their attention
Don’t let them focus on anything they can throw, break, tear or draw with, because that very well may be what they do. Designate a wall in your home as the time-out wall, then just move them to it when the tantrum begins. I have found this to work amazingly well. Once against the time out wall the kiddo is focused on being allowed to get up, not on being destructive. This gives me enough of their attention to explain to them how this can end well for us all. Of course the first few times we did this, we had to situate them against the wall about fifty times after they tried to defiantly escape, but now a magical invisible force keeps them in place.
This goes back to staying calm, you’re the adult and these little people are losing their respective minds. You, as the parent, need to keep it together and be the anchor in the storm. They need to know what to expect from you when they act like this. What can happen if they try to escalate and what happens when they come back to sanity. It not only lets them know that the tantrum will only get them so far, it also sets boundaries for them, and plants the seeds for reasoning. If you are consistent, you will see that the tantrums become more and more tamed as they learn where you will step in to micro manage them.
Empower them to calm the storm
If we are consistent and placing them in a time-out, then they also need to know how to end it properly. You can’t force it, they are just kids, and trying to force them to stop the tantrum will just make it worse. I explain to them that their time in time-out will only last as long as the tantrum. It’s up to them to collect themselves, and when they do, they are free to go play again. Once this idea sets in, and they realize that the only thing holding themselves back is themselves, you’ll truly find they have tantrums less.
Talk to them about their feelings
Now they’re calm and ready to go play again. This is a perfect time to talk to them about what just happened. This is the time to guide them on how to better handle their feelings, how to avoid time outs in the future and reassure them that you are here to hear their complaints.