Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tantrum Tip: Keep it Simple and Redirect

You can feel it coming. The pressure is building. You know the flood gates are about to open and the tantrum is about to start because your child wants a toy / a toy was taken out of your child's hands / it's time to go / it's not time to go / it's bedtime / you said no to ice cream / he hasn't had a nap. Whatever the reason, your kiddo is C-R-A-N-K-Y. And a tantrum is on the way. 

A quick tip for dealing with those 'on the verge of waterworks' moments is: Keep it simple and redirect.

First, Keep it simple. Kids on the verge of tears don't have the energy or capacity to understand your long, complicated explanation for why you said no to ice cream. They care about the bottom line- no ice cream. Keep your explanation short and sweet (Another pun. I am on a roll.)- "Ice cream is for after dinner," or "Ice cream is for special occasions."

Second, Redirect. Move your child's attention to something else entirely. "Hey, look! That lady is walking a dog just like ours! Should we ask her if we can pet it?!" or (say you're at the mall) "Don't you have a gift card to the Lego store? It's right around the corner!"


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