There is no doubt that the tantrum is a form of expression that our son uses to express his frustration. But what to do when you have one and we don’t know how to act? We discover some tips that will help you.

You are in the supermarket and suddenly your child stops, looks at you, points and the show begins. First with a soft cry and then he raises his tone as the other clients watch him to see what he is doing.

Obviously, you look sideways seeing how you are judged and trying to avoid disaster. Do I give him what he wants? Do I drag him away by force? Do I leave the supermarket and will I come later? Help!

What is a tantrum?

For the reassurance of many parents, it is important to say that a tantrum is not an indication that a child is “spoiled” or “capricious.” It is something normal and natural that appears especially in children between 0 and 3 years of age.

The child tantrum is the equivalent of frustration. Imagine that you have been working on a document on your computer all afternoon and it has already been 5 pages.  Suddenly and without warning the computer shuts down and you lose the hours of work you have invested. Don’t you get up with rage and some swear words go off? When you leave, maybe you don’t slam the door? Or maybe you go out to the street to clear up and not “kill” anyone.

You are already an adult and you know how to handle the situation. The child is still learning and needs some guidelines that is the only difference. News: your child is frustrated.

What not to do to make the tantrum worse:

  • Get angry.
  • Shout.
  • Use physical force.
  • Surrender to their requests.

Then what do I do?

First of all, stop blaming yourself and wondering if you are educating your child poorly or well and focus on that isolated situation. You have your child in front of you, pointing to something from the supermarket and gradually increasing his level of frustration.

Take a deep breath and try to put yourself in your child’s shoes for a moment. The first step is to know what exactly you want. Know if she is pointing to something that she wants to take home or if she just wants to show her something from the shelf to interact with you or get attention. In this case, let’s say you want to take something home with you.

To begin, evaluate whether what you are ordering to take away is inappropriate or not.  You set the line and the limit. In the event that you decide to take what you ask for, you should not take it until the child is calm and understands that you are taking it because it seems like a good idea and not because of the fact that he has cried. And in the event that you do not consider it appropriate to wear the item, lower yourself to your child’s height and, taking eye contact and a gentle tone, begin to communicate with him.

Explain that in this case they will not take the item because they do not need it.  Explanations should be short, concise and tailored to your child’s language and understanding. Your child will probably continue to disagree and his frustration will increase more, remember that it is his way of expressing his failure. It is therefore vital that we remain calm so as not to create an even more stressful environment.

After the no, it is important not to go back even if the child cries. Once the decision of what to do has been made, the child will have it clear even if he kicks and he only has to help him manage his anger. If, on the contrary, he gives in to anger, he will realize that when he cries, screams and creates chaos, what he wants comes true. In this way, he will repeat this behavior as many times and as long as necessary to achieve his goal.

Finally, give it another option or a function. For example: “We are not going to take this, but how about taking this other and putting it in the car? Here, you take it. “In this way, we not only divert attention from negative behavior but also promote a change in activity where it can be of help to us and it feels useful.

In the event that these methods do not work, do not despair. If the child continues with his tantrum we will simply approach and give him a simple command without anger such as: “When you stop crying I hear you” and ignore the negative behavior.

But once the child abandons this behavior, we will quickly attend to him without losing calm and we will focus on calming him down, since after the tantrum what our son usually demands is affection.

These steps to follow are not always easy, as adults have certain schedules behind us and we try to carry out activities as efficiently as possible. But if we stop and for a moment we adapt to the rhythm of our children, the tantrums will decrease or each time they will be shorter over time and more controlled. Thus, on the one hand our child will learn to self-control and on the other we will avoid those uncomfortable situations.


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