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You are here: Home > Toddlers > Parenting

Taming Your Tiny Tyrant's Tantrums

by Alison Wood | October 23, 2012 12:00 AM1 Comments

Stomp, stomp, stomp. BAM! A door slams loudly. Your sweet, angelic cherub just became a demon. The earth-shattering news that she could not watch her favorite movie that night caused this outburst of anger to erupt. Should you turn a deaf ear to the slammed door and pretend you didn't see her angrily stomp up the stairs? Yes, if you want this negative behavior to continue. However, if you desire to see a positive change, here are some tips to curb your little one's spontaneous fits of frustration.

Speak calmly.
Just because your child has lost control of their emotions does not mean you have to lose yours! You need to be an example of the right kind of behavior. If you tell your son or daughter to stop screaming while you are yelling even louder, the instructions become null and void in the child's mind.

Never, ever, give in.
Whatever your child is fussing about, do not give him his way. Never reward negative behavior with a positive result.

Be consistent.
If you say no, then the answer is no. No amount of whining, pleading, screaming, yelling, hitting or kicking should change the verdict.

Choose punishment that fits the crime.
A good and fair judge would not render a life-sentence to someone who litters. Likewise, you should not utilize harsh punishment for a small infraction. You also want punishment that teaches the positive reaction to the problem at hand. For instance, iff a child slams a door, make her go back and close it correctly -- twenty times. If the child throws a fit or whines when you say no, then calmly relay to her that every subsequent question will always receive a no until she learns to receive no with the proper attitude.

Here is a real-to-life scenario to prepare you for the next shopping battle:

You are at the store shopping, when your child suddenly decides they are done shopping.

"Mom, let's go," your child announces quite powerfully.

"Not yet," you reply, "We have to get a few more things, then we will be on our way home."

Unsatisfied with your answer, your red-faced, cleched-fisted child yells back at you, "No, mommy, now!"

Now people are staring...some disapprovingly, and some understandingly. The best option is to calmly lean down to your son or daughter's eye level and calmly state:

"We are going to get a few more things, and then we will leave. You will stop screaming and you will sit up straight. I do not want to hear one more word until we are in the car, then you may speak to me with respect and kindness."

When you are in the car, remind your child of the unacceptable behavior displayed in the store. Then proceed to state that next time you will be going to the store alone. If the child wants to win his/her right back to accompany you on shopping trips he must prove that he can participate in an outing without whining, fussing or yelling. Make sure you stick with what you say. No amount of whining, tears or "Mommy, you don't love me" should sway your decision. Sticking to the punishment will have lasting, positive effects for you and your child's future. When you return from the store talk about the wonderful time you had and buy yourself a treat, like a special drink, gum or ice cream -- something you know your child enjoys too. Then, get down on your child's eye level and let him know that you would love for him to come and enjoy the shopping trip with you next time. Tell him that if he behaves he can even get a treat too! Remember, never pity, give in or reward negative behavior.

Different parents have different parenting techniques and ideas about proper punishment. In addition, little ones have distinct, individual personalities. Choose what discipline measures are most effective with your child and stick to it. Do not give in simply because you have had a hard day at home or work. Don't throw in the towel just because you are in your seventh month of pregnancy and are too exhausted to deal with it. This will just make things more difficult. Remember that the little one that gets away with screaming, biting or kicking without any consequences now will grow into a larger child that continues to scream, bite and kick. It is much easier to deal with your son or daughter now than in the future. So remember: stay calm, be consistent, don't give in and give a punishment that fits the crime.

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MrsS1stbaby Oct 23, 2012 10:11:12 AM ET

Every book or article i read seems to think that that 1st instance of calmly telling your child what is going to happen and not happen will be the end of it. for the shopping examples, what happens when you do as the article says but your child continues to whine, scream, and throw themselves on the floor (because they are too big for the seat in the cart or it is being occupied by an actual baby) i love learning new tips and will try just about anything, but they seem to always stop short of addressing how a real child behaves. because that is not usually the end of it.

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