Discipline and Tantrums

Tantrums- everyone has heard of them, seen them or experienced them at some time or another. I am sure that I pitched a few as I was growing up, and I have most definately seen more than enough through my three boys. 

I have seen tantrums started with my children because of homework, the television, brushing teeth, going to school and chores. These are just a few of the millions of tantrums I have probably seen. Many people question exactly how to handle a tantrum. Should a consequence be punishment or some type of discipline? Everyone has their own opinion about what exactly should be done and how a tantrum should be handled. 

At first, I thought tantrums have be stopped abruptly, whether at home or in public. I believed that action had to be taken, and the situation had to be controlled by the parent. I have learned this is just not the case. Not disciplining a tantrum is just a affective as disciplining them. Yelling at a child or spanking a child who is having a tantrum just ads to their frustration and can even escalate it. I have experienced that yelling at one of my children during a tantrum only worsens it. As I got louder, so did he. 

Over the years, I have learned to wait tantrums out. The first step is to remove the child from their current atmosphere or setting. If out in public, take the child to the car to settle down. If at home, place the child in time out. This is so that the child can clear his or head and calm down. Simply wait for the child to see that you are not upset with what he or she is doing but patiently waiting. Once the child sees that you as a parent are not mad, the child will reconsider his or her behavior and question what is so upsetting at that moment. 

A child of any age, has many of the same thoughts and feelings as adults; they just have a hard time expressing their feelings. Aren’t there times when you want to just scream as loud as you can or throw things around the room? These could be considered part of throwing a tantrum. We, as adults, have simply learned how to express our feelings and work through them. Kids do not have these skills, and we, as parents, have to help them in learning to deal with and get through them.