Oh those lovely tantrums… Who doesn’t love those? Definitely NOT this mama! Whether your at home, the store or even out to dinner, those pesky tantrums always seem to make an appearance! Laying on the floor, kicking and screaming and well… just looking crazy! I have had to experiment with different techniques and have made a list of tips to help you survive tantrums!
- “The Stare Method”- Even though I can’t stand looking or even listening to my sons trying to make a loud statement, I have come up with “The Stare Method”. Most of the time this works, but only if the child is not on the floor. For instance, my oldest son has always been a Grammy Award winning Tantrum Ninja. Right before he hits that floor to start screaming and stomping his feet, he will cross his arms, cry, repeat what he wants (over and over and over again..) and stare at me. I finally decided to try a new technique out and just plainly stare back at him, with absolutely no expression on my face. After about 5-10 minutes of awkward stares, my son felt uncomfortable and weirded out by me just looking into his eyes!
- “I’m not listening!”- Over the years I have learned a very common technique from my husband. Most men are programmed with this and hey, when it comes to dodging tantrums, sometimes it works! I have finally learned to be able to have Selective Hearing. I noticed that when I would talk to my hubby about shopping, makeup, or just fashion in general, he was somehow able to listen, but not listen at the same time. After finally mastering this, I decided to use this on my kids! My youngest son hates to be ignored, who doesn’t? So when he decided to test my patience (lovely terrible 2’s!) I acted like he wasn’t even there. Of course I was there and heard and everything he was saying and doing (I’m sure the neighbors did too!) I wouldn’t give him the time of day! I was doing the dishes and he came stomping over because I told him NO jumping on the couch. He showed his ugly side. I simply just let him do it. I let him think I was ignoring him, so that he didn’t think I was acknowledging his behavior. This is definitely one that I use time and time again!
- Switching Roles- This works best when you are in public shopping, especially at the grocery store. I usually try to keep my dreaded errands to a minimum because I know what happens if they both get bored or tired. When your child is starting to act up, start looking at your grocery list! Let your child help you pick out what you need. Let them do the shopping, but with you directing them to where you need to go. If you need to get some salad dressing, let them know, tell them what you need and help show them where the item is. This gives them a sense of responsibility. Like they have a reason to be there to help Mom grocery shop! Not just that, but you have your own personal shopper!
- “Your just hangry, here, eat a snickers!”- Let me begin by saying, Yes, I spelt that right. Haven’t you ever been so hungry that you become the spitting image of The Hulk? Well, that’s what you would call being “Hangry”. A combination of being hungry and angry! Always make sure you are in arms reach of a Ziploc bag full of snacks. Errands can be exhausting for the kids, even though your the one doing all the work! Just grab that bag out of your purse and let them munch away on those Goldifish! You will see that adorable little smile return instantly!
- When all else fails…RUN AWAY!- You’ve come this far and nothing has worked.. Mission has failed… abort, abort! Run away! ………..Ok, not literally! When my kids are having the Mother of All Tantrums, especially at the stores, I walk away. I turn that corner and don’t look back. (Ok, maybe just a little!) To him it may look like I am deserting him, but in all reality I am turning the corner and sneaking my head out to watch him. (Without him seeing me..) He realizes I am not there to see what he is protesting about, gets back up and comes looking for me. All I ever have to say to him after that is, “Feel better now?”
Even if you think you will never get out of the Tantrum stage, your right! I’m kidding, it DOES get better over time. I have a 5 year old who gets angry from time to time and a 2 year old who thinks he is a teenager!
Do you have your own tips for surviving tantrums? Please help Mama’s everywhere and spread that amazing advice with us!