Most people who have cared for children can recall a time that the child has reacted as if the world is going to end as a reasonable response to something trivial, such as, their sandwich being cut into triangles rather than squares, or their zip not zip- ping up any further. They may have requested triangle sandwiches and changed their mind after receiving the food. You may have previously explained that the zip can not physically zip any further as it is at the top of it’s run…. All irrelevant to the child of course while they are in this inconsolable state.
It can be incredibly frustrating to see a child self-implode into this tantrum and your calm and collected voice of reason and logic doesn’t seem to reach them. Here are some ideas about how to manage such a tantrum, taken from the website listed at the end of this article.
Name the problem: ‘Your sister has trodden on your Lego model again.’
Acknowledge the feeling: ‘That must be upsetting.’
Let your child talk or ‘rant’ if that is what they need to do.
Keep on listening for as long as it takes, don’t feel you have to say much or ‘ fix’ the problem. Validating your child’s feelings in this way will help your child to feel that you really care and understand what they are going through, and can help to prevent the emotional behaviour from escalating.
Encourage problem-solving by asking your child if they can think of a solution,‘What do you think you could do to stop this from happening?’ Brainstorm some different solutions. Support your child to do this.
Agree on the best solution: ‘So it’s agreed that you will play with your Lego at the other end of the sitting room, where no one is going to be walking past.’
Try out the solution. Remind your child to put the plan into action.
Review the plan at a later time.Talk to your child about whether the solution to the problem has worked, and if so why? If it has not worked, why is that, what could be done differently?
For more in depth information like this, see: www.heysigmund.com/how-to-deal-with-disappointment/