Taming tantrums and managing meltdowns

-Tantrums and meltdowns can look similar but aren’t the same thing.

-They need to be responded to differently.

-Knowing why your child has tantrums or meltdowns can help you avoid them.

We’ve all seen children upset and crying in a store or at the park. Most families sympathize because they’ve been there with their own children.

At Wriggles and Giggles Sessions we repeat activities that will help with all stages of development from birth to 5 years We also help with ideas to take home and parenting tips and techniques. To join a group in Yarm, Darlington, Hartburn, Ingleby Barwick, Newton Aycliffe send us an email info@wrigglesandgigglesnortheast.co.uk

Many people assume what they’re seeing is a child throwing a tantrum, and that could be. But it might be a meltdown. And if you’ve ever experienced your child having a meltdown, you know that the two have to be dealt with differently.

Here are some strategies for taming tantrums and managing meltdowns.

Ways to Tame a Tantrum

It’s not unusual for young children to have tantrums when they’re upset, angry, or frustrated, or when something doesn’t go their way. Tantrums are common, but being on the receiving end when children lash out can be frustrating and hard to handle.

The good news is that tantrums are usually something children have at least some control over. Many children can change how they’re behaving based on how people around them are reacting. There are also ways to keep tantrums from happening in the first place.

Try these tips to stop tantrums in their tracks.

1. Agree on a frustration signal.

Talk with your child about what “getting frustrated” looks like from your point of view. Ask if there’s anything your child wants you to look for, too. Then come up with a signal to use when your child is getting frustrated, like pulling on your earlobe. Talk about what you’ll both do to calm the situation when you use the signal.

2. Assign a calm space.

Find a place in your home that can be a designated calm space. It doesn’t have to be fancy. For example, it could simply be a chair your child likes to sit in. Explain this is a space for calming down, not a punishment space. Your child can go there to take a break when you use the frustration signal. (At first, you may need to remind your child there’s a place to go to calm down and regroup.)

We have sensory bags available to purchase on our website at the link below. Each bag also includes unlimited access to our interactive online videos for early years


3. Think about what’s causing the tantrum.

Using a signal or going to a calm space might not always do the trick. If you can’t head off a tantrum, try to figure out what’s causing it. Knowing the source makes it easier to defuse in the moment. It also helps you both find better ways to avoid the situation next time.

4. Set clear expectations.

Be clear about how you expect your child to behave. Use when-then sentences like, “When you speak to me in a calmer voice, then we can talk this through.” This gives your child a choice about whether to follow through or not.

5. Acknowledge your child’s feelings.

Your child might be acting out, but that doesn’t mean your child’s feelings aren’t real. Try to be empathetic and help your child put names to those feelings. For example: “I know you’re angry with me because I asked you to turn off the video game. I get mad, too, when I have to stop doing something fun.”

Wriggles and Giggles have over 50 Early Years Interactive Videos available to enjoy with your child in Dance, Sign, Puppets, Action, Match and Sound Games from our sessions using this link. https://www.wrigglesandgigglesnortheast.co.uk/videos

6. Ignore it.