How to survive an epic tantrum: 6 tips to prevent losing our minds while trying
Children do not come with instructions, and that is a reality.
No matter how much we read books about conscious parenting or ask for help from educators or psychologists, at the end of the day, we, the parents, have to use our best common sense and maternal instinct, to face the epic tantrum episodes of our children that often deserve an Emmy award.
But please do not feel alone, we are in this together.
Here are some tips that have worked for us to calm our son and some tricks we do to prevent us from losing our minds.
First of all, don't blame yourself as a bad parent.
According to the teachings of Dr. Shefali in his book "Conscious Parents", the most important thing is to understand that our children are independent people, with a unique personality that we must accept with their defects and virtues at all costs (especially when they do not have the personality that we idealized).
We must also accept that they are going through a stage where these types of emotional changes are considered "normal". They are called the terrible twos for a reason.
So, repeat after me:
The child does not have no problem, and he is not doing it to annoy you.
You are not a bad mother or a bad father.
This is a stage and like everything else, it will pass.
Together you will learn to understand each other.
If you can understand these episodes as something temporary and that they have nothing to do with any failure of the parents or the children, you will feel less frustrated when coping with it.
6 tips that can help you during a tantrum
1. Anticipate 'delicate' moments
Children are more prone to temper tantrums when they are tired, hungry, or overstimulated. Knowing the situations that make our child vulnerable to a tantrum allows us to anticipate and have a chance to avoid it. So we can avoid taking him shopping if he hasn't napped or eaten, etc. Source
A delicate moment of my son at 3 years of age is for example:
Before leaving the house, it is always a battle to put his shoes on ( I am sure a lot of you can relate ), so I anticipate the drama, and I tell him to go barefoot and as soon as he sees the street he wants to put them on by himself.
The idea is not to overwhelm ourselves every day by the same issue, and try to have a little vision about what ignites your child's tantrums. This way, on some lucky occasions, you will be triumphant and prevent them successfully.
DURING THE DRAMA
Photo by Keira burton
2. Let him/her cry
Sometimes as long as he doesn't cry, we can give in to his wishes or lose patience and yell at them. Crying is his way of expressing his frustration and if you don't overreact to it, he'll probably be distracted by something else in a few minutes. Avoid humiliating phrases like 'crying is for girls' at all times.
Some say that children sometimes have to cry for a certain amount of time during the day to get their energy out.
Have you noticed that in his daycare or school he does not have meltdowns? does she seems to only have them with you?
I heard that this is because for them, their Mom and Dad are their comfort zone, where they feel safe to express themselves to the fullest. And that in case they had a difficult day at their school or they just feel like crying and venting their emotions, they do it with you because that's where they feel confident to do it.
It's good to keep this in mind so you do your best to let the tantrum pass without losing your mind, with all the patience in the world knowing that it will soon pass.
3. Keep calm (I know, it's SO DAMN HARD, but try it anyways, it will always favor you)
If the episode seems to never end and you are losing patience, take turns with another adult to handle it while you take a break. According to the psychologist Lídia Mendoza Ortega, it is important to try to remain calm and understand that the child does not behave in this way to annoy, but to get our attention. Source
Remaining calm during one of our kids' tantrums is a GIGANT challenge.
Because I believe when you say:
We really really try our best keep it cool.
We ignore the cries that almost burst our eardrums.
We endure the shame when we are in public
We hug our children and speak calmly to them, we truly attempt to help them understand that everything is fine.
But oh man! the line we have to cross to lose our temper and let the tantrum affect us is very thin.
And we all know that when we cross that line no one wins. The drama only drags on instead of ending.
So yes, the key is to seek support from another adult to handle it before the outburst gets out of hands.
Another super tip is to change the environment, if you are in a room take the kid to another or go for a walk outside the house.
Photo by Keira burton
4. Negotiation is your best tool
Children go through a time, necessary and inevitable in child development, in which they maintain defiant behavior. They test the limits because they are not sure if they will be stopped. They observe that their "no" causes things to happen. To do this, an environment must be created in which their autonomy and their own conclusions are encouraged to solve something. Source
Give your child options, they are at a stage where they want to feel that they are in control of the final decisions.
If he is angry beacuse he does not want to eat something you want him to, offer him two other options, then he can choose and feel that he won the argument.
You can also negotiate, for example, you can say. -if you take a bath now, you will be able to play afterwards or watch your favorite cartoon. In this way, they feel that they agreed to the arrangement and it was not an imposition of the parents.
5. Teach him to breathe deeply
This is undoubtedly one of the best everyday lessons that we can teach our children. Its benefits include such wonderful goals as managing emotions or even helping them sleep much better. Breathing well is a principle of physical, psychological and emotional health that will undoubtedly reverse in your day-to-day life. Source
I believe that the teaching of Mindfulness and Meditation exercises is a practice that should be taught at home and at school as soon as possible.
Deep breathing is the best medicine for many situations where we feel anxious or out of balance. Imagine learning it from a young age.
My husband and I came up with the idea of telling our son that when he gets angry imagine that we are inflating a balloon while we put the "anger" or "anger" in him and on the third puff the balloon flies up to the sky and it leads (outside our house).
The child chooses the color of the imaginary balloon. We even bring real balloons sometimes.
It works, not all the time, but little by little he has come to understand that "anger", as Eckheart Tolle suggests in his book "A New Earth", is not a part of him.
Rather, the rage is seen as something external to himself. Tolle mentions that some people even name the angry monster, the uninvited visitor that just as he arrives, he can leave, using breathwork as our tool.
6. Do an energetic cleanse
As the episode ends, I recommend doing an energetic cleanse.
Thoughts and emotions are vibratory frequencies that are projected outwards, towards the environment.
Some of these vibrations can be beneficial and others can be harmful.
The important thing is to detect those that harm us and to know how to transform them to keep our spaces energetically aligned. Source
If you have a bell at home, or even better, a tibetan bowl, sound it around the places where the tantrum took place. Do it with the intention of breaking all the waves of negative energy that were generated.
Open windows and light an incense or candle to renew vibes in your home.