What’s inside: A simple, 3-step approach to that will stop temper tantrums in seconds – before things get out of control. Call it positive parenting, call it a parenting hack, call it what you like…this WORKS!
“What the heck did I get myself into?!”
When you’re dealing with a child who is in the middle of a hysterical temper tantrum or meltdown, it feels like you’re failing at parenting. You might even start to question your life decisions. (Ok, not entirely…BUT it can be extremely emotionally draining!)
The key to stop temper tantrums is to neutralize the situation before it can escalate to a full-blown, laying on the floor, screaming, won’t listen to reason, snotty-nosed temper tantrum.
The good news: it’s easier than you might think, and both you and your child come out winners.
How to Stop a Temper Tantrum in 5 Seconds
Yep, seconds! This method to stop a temper tantrum is simple, effective, and fast.
Often as parents we tend to overcomplicate things. We think that we need some special technique or trick to keep our kids on their best behavior.
We make parenting harder on ourselves than it needs to be.
I’ll keep it real with you.
My girls do get upset. They cry. They act defiant sometimes. However, I manage to nip most of their fussing in the bud before it ever gets to 5-alarm temper tantrum status.
These three simple steps give me control of the situation, while allowing my girls to feel like they’ve been heard.
To be quite honest, these tips would be very useful in dealing with any adults in your life that act difficult too!
3 Simple Steps to Stop Temper Tantrums on the Spot
Do these in order and you’ll often be able to diffuse a situation within seconds, or a couple minutes.
1. Get Down on Their Level
It’s easy for a child to tune you out if you’re talking two feet above their head. Not so much if you’re right in front of them!
Anytime I want to make sure that my girls are listening to me, I squat down so that we are face to face.
Another benefit to “getting on their level” is that it helps a child feel seen and heard. At this point it’s not about being “right,” it’s about getting their attention and getting them to work with you.
2. Make Eye Contact
Once you’re face to face with your child, look them dead in the eye. It’s likely to catch them off guard, distracting them enough to cause a break in the tantrum. That break is just what you need to begin to talk them down.
Eye contact is a sign of respect (even if children don’t consciously know this, they feel it!) and they’re more likely to listen.
3. Get Serious
When have my child’s attention, I let them know I mean business by using my “serious” voice.
I don’t mean yelling, or even raising my voice — quite the opposite! I actually lower my voice, talking slow, steady, and firmly.
I learned and practiced this working with horses. When a horse acts out, you must remain calm to de-escalate the situation. If you become upset or yell, it will only cause them to become upset too!
It Worked on Me…
Growing up, the one person that I NEVER wanted to disobey was my Grandad.
He wasn’t loud and he didn’t get excited. All it took was a stern look and his “serious” voice to get all of us cousins sitting quietly within seconds!
When trying to stop temper tantrums, less is definitely more!
Recommended reading (for mom AND kids!)
Affiliate links provided for your convenience; disclosure policy available here.
Kelly is a friend and colleague whose work has changed the lives of countless families. Her new e-book shares the recipe to:
- Stop feeling overwhelmed. Get a handle on the swirling chaos of to-do items and appointments and “should”s in your head.
- Set yourself up for a happy day, every day. Find out the ingredients you need in your day in order to become your happiest self.
- Catch yourself before you lose your cool. Learn what to do when you lose your patience with a temper-taming toolkit of proven tools to get you back on track.
- Heal after the storm. For the days when you do lose your cool, you’ll get the exact steps to flush the bad mojo from your body and repair the relationship with your child (or your partner).
Grab your copy of the e-book for Kindle, Nook, or iBooks:
Help your children better understand emotions like anger and develop positive ways for dealing with their feelings — stories can make it easier for children to relate. We love this classic from the Little Critter series!
Be sure to follow my Positive Parenting Tips board on Pinterest for more ideas from some of the best family bloggers: Follow Stacey @ The Soccer Mom Blog’s board Positive Parenting Tips on Pinterest.
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