Good morning friends! Welcome to our fourth and last post on the series Educating Kids with Time Emotional Guidance Center. We chose to bring you this series right during the month of Kislev because as I’ve mentioned here before, Hannukah is connected to the word Chinuch– education. I wrote some more about this here.
At this point everyone is starting or about to start winter break and have a few weeks at home or traveling with their kids. So, today’s topic might be quite timely as we might have to deal with a few… tantrums! (Somehow it’s not just our two year old who throws them, right?) It’s ok, eventually, they subside, but often their frequency and the overall duration of this stage has to do with how we, the parents, manage the tantrums. Spoiler alert: You should not to throw one too! (Remember my post Tantrum with G-d. One of my faves!) Anyhow, here’s Mijal and Jael with tips on dealing with those dreaded tantrums.
Tantrums are never easy, especially when they are in public! So next time that you’re in Target and your child starts screaming through the aisles… try the following:
1. Don’t raise your voice: We understand how frustrated you might be, but it will only make the situation worse.
2. Give your child some space: Until he/she is able to listen and cool down. (ie. this is not the time to start discussing his behavior with him/her or trying to reason with him)
3. Show empathy and understanding: “you must be very angry that I’m not buying the candy, but you heard the rules before coming to the store.”
Three tips that are so simple, yet in the heat of the moment, we can easily forget them. I think the basic idea that Mijal and Jael are trying to impart on us here is to STAY COOL. Remember that you are in charge here, not the child, and that by you showing any emotion during a tantrum (other than empathy) you are just adding fuel to the fire.
Furthermore, and this is key… FORGET ABOUT WHAT THE PEOPLE IN TARGET THINK! (Ha! I’m serious!)
Stay cool and whisper to your child and to yourself if you need to, and keep walking with your screaming child until he/she calms down. (Read Part 1 here about how whispering helps.) Remember this is a stage and EVERY single mother has been through it.
When you stay cool, you’re showing the child that you are a dependable adult that he can count on. Don’t fall apart like him/her hahaha.
Oh and I like that #3 above mentioned “you heard the rules before…” because it reminded me how helpful it is to show kids even at an early age, a little paper of what exactly we are getting at the shop and or explaining step by step what we are doing. (ie. We are going into Target and we are going to get these things on this list and then right after we pay, we will get in the car and drive to get the older kids from school. Would you like to hold the list? Do you want a pen and you can cross out the items on the list, when mami tells you?) You can even try telling the child that you have 30 minutes to be in the shop and you’re going to put a timer, to see if you guys can beat the timer and be back in the car before 20 minutes. Then do something goofy in the car together if you actually beat the timer.
Finally, if the tantrum is not subsiding and you have to, calmly walk together to the car, play some music (don’t talk much) until it passes or just say empathetically, “oh oh, I guess we’ll have to do our shopping another day.” (I know it will mess up your entire day, schedule etc. and you are fuming inside. Do not show it!)
Sounds like I’ve been there? ;-)
Mijal and Jael, I can’t thank you enough for visiting us for four weeks with such practical reminders and tips on educating our kids. You can stay tuned for all things Time Emotional Guidance Center is offering by following their FB page here.
Have a beautiful day and do go back and read my Tantrum with G-d piece. And tell me, how do you deal with tantrums?