Dealing with Tantrums

I always pray that Kaila grows up to be a good and obedient girl. The first time she showed signs of defiance, I used all the powers of the universe to be patient with her and to deal with her in the most democratic way that I could. But tantrums do happen, it cannot be prevented, and the most that parents can do is learn how to deal with their kids when they throw a tantrum.

Tantrums are emotional outbursts, oftentimes sudden, and typically characterized by stubbornness, screaming, defiance, or any form of resistance. They are common in kids between ages 1 – 3. Kids these age have very limited language so they cannot readily and adequately express their feelings. When they get frustrated over something, they are not yet able to control their emotions. So they throw a tantrum.

For parents like me, tantrum episodes are frustrating and embarrassing. They are like a test to your patience. They challenge your abilities as parents as to how much can you control your child. I have tried many ways on how to deal with Kaila’s tantrums. There are moments when I just had to spank her because there was nothing I could do. I regretted those moments because I did not want to do that in the first place. As a parent, as a mom, I should be more in control of my feelings. I should know better, right.

How do I deal with Kaila’s tantrums? Here are the strategies that I do.

  • I carry her inside the room. Many say you should place the child where he or she could be safe and then leave the child until he or she calms down. I do not leave her, for I read somewhere that this might come to a child as abandonment or something to that effect. I just sit quietly in one corner and wait until she calms down. 
  • After she calms down, I hug her and tell her that everything is okay. I talk to her and explain her what happened. I discuss about her behavior and tell her that I am not angry with her but with what she did.
  • In talking to Kaila, I tell describe what she did and then tell her that it is not the right way to express her feelings. I tell her that instead of shouting or crying, she should tell me or her Dad that she does not like what was being told her, or that she is angry, or that she wants to do something else.
  • According to some parents, it is not enough that you tell the child what to do. You also have to ask her what you just said in order for you to know that your child understood what you said.
  • I know when Kaila is about to throw a tantrum. When I see signs of it, I divert her attention to other things, like I invite her to come with me to read her book, or to ask her to help me to carry my bag.

When episodes like these happen, it is important for parents to keep their cool. I am guilty of this, especially when I am very occupied and then I suddenly hear her cry because her Dad does not want to give her the TV’s remote control or that her yaya refuses to play with her. What I do is I let a few minutes pass first, then approach her calmly, and then carry her to the room.

Most children grow out of the need for tantrums when they can express their feelings more and when finally understand that everything they do have consequences. However, I also know that how I deal with Kaila and her tantrums is very important so I make it a point that I deal with her in the most calm and democratic way that I can.
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