GENTLE DISCIPLINE | Temper Tantrums
We are exploring the ideas of gentle discipline for a few days with our founder, Mia Carr, moving forward with temper tantrums. Temper tantrums. How do you cope?
First and foremost, understand that temper tantrums are not a relection of you or your parenting. They are a normal part of the human experience. Adults also have a hard time keeping their emotions under control at all times, so do your best to remain separate from their emotions.
Every child comes into this world as a unqiue person who has their own temperament. You can have 1 child who is easy-going and then a 2nd that has a much harder time coping. Its the same parenting, but different personality of child.
We can help our little people maintain control of their emotions by first reducing the triggers that cause temper tantrums by distracting, giving choices and explaining consequences. There are some days though, that it's just going down and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
In our house, when this happens, I will sit with them or at least be in ear shot with them and hold space. I will not let their emotions enter me and will disconnect emotionally while they are out of control. Their emotions will simmer down and my most important goal is to not feel badly and as if I need to apologize for losing my own cool when they do.
Let their emotions roll over you, not into you. It is this visualization that I have learned to walk through the temper tantrums our kids naturally have.
If you need physical space and prefer to lay them in a room, that is a personal choice and sometimes much needed.
Once their tantrum is over, talk to them about how they can react differently next time. Say, "next time, ask mommy for help if you are having trouble." Also pay attention to the triggers. Was this caused by being over tired? Hungry? Over stimulated? Pay attention and learn to avoid those factors.
When it is unavoidable, your focus needs to be on you and keeping your own emotions in check. We cannot expect more from 3 year olds than what we do from ourselves.
Tell me, what are your struggling with? Do you have tips to share? Let's talk about it!