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Dealing With Tantrum - Ways Parents Can Do Based on Positive Discipline

'Tantrum is not to be afraid of (or avoided) ~ it is not knowing how to be with it that scare us.'

child tantrum

We all humans and have wide ranges of emotions with different intensity.

It is like an unknown arena, the more we know about emotions, their potential intensity, and our relationship with them, the more comfortable and easy when we are having these emotions.

If we as parents are at ease with our emotions, the chance is high that we would be at ease with our children's emotions...


Be With Tantrum - Name It to Tame It

A tantrum is an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration, a reaction to overwhelming emotions, loss of control and a call for help. During a tantrum, the emotional part of the brain takes over the rational part, leading to limitations in hearing, speaking, and behaviour….

How shall parents respond during a tantrum?

The compassionate approach is to allow the emotions to be expressed, to be heard, to be validated, and, if parents can't understand or agree the emotions, at least to accept them. It's best to be with the child, to wait for the child to calm down, and to wait for the thinking brain to return.

ways dealing with tantrum

Parents might find it challenging to wait and witness their child's distress and cries, and yet parents could also help and lead the child out of emotional brain. The below Positive Discipline techniques can help:

  1. Focus on the child’s underlying needs rather than taking personal offense at their behaviours.

  2. Slow down the process with compassion, and don't escalate the tantrum further.

  3. Name the experienced emotions and untangle them if there are mixed feelings.

  4. Validate the feelings, stay connected without judgment or immediate correction, offer understanding and empathy.

  5. Allow as much time as necessary for the child to calm down

  6. Engage the child's thinking by asking indirect, non-accusatory questions (shift from emotional brain to thinking brain)

  7. Be on the same team as the children and discuss the tantrum triggers and potential solutions together. Ideally, this part should only account for 10% of the process.

In parenting, the process matters, not just the destination. By taking the time to slowly validate, acknowledge, and accept child’s feelings, as well as finding solutions together, the child will know that you care, respect, and value him or her. The child is safe to express feelings with us anytime, on any occasion.

Focus - Slow down - Name the feelings – Validate & Stay Connected – Take Time - Be a team.

With the below video from Dr Siegel, you find understand more about the emotional part and the thinking part of our brain.


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