FROM the terrible twos to the troublesome threes and ferocious fours, tantrums evolve over time but they’re all equally unpleasant.
Whether you’re dealing with a child who screams and cries, lashes out physically or gets nasty with words, there are foolproof strategies to put tantrums to bed. Parenting expert Sophie Giles shares the best way to deal with inevitable tantrums as your child grows up. Fabulous spoke to Sophie Giles, parenting and behavioural consultant and founder of the Gentle Start Family Consultancy, who says the worst thing you can do is fear them.
She says: “Children have tantrums, it’s a natural part of child development.
“They don’t have a way to express everything and they’re trying to work out how to manipulate the world and get what they want.
“So you have to help them to see that having a meltdown isn’t the way to do that.”
To know how best to react, it can be helpful to identify the type of tantrum your child is having.
There are three basic types:
Sophie says: “This is when a child has no other way of dealing with their emotions, it all gets a bit too intense and they just have a meltdown.”
“This is a manipulative kind of tantrum,” explains Sophie.
“The kind of tantrum where they’re threatening, ‘I will scream and yell until you give me what I want’.” Sensory overload Similar in cause to an emotional outburst, but with a slightly different solution, is the sensory overload.Sophie says: “This is when things are too loud, or too bright or there are too many people.” So what should you do next? With a sensory overload, Sophie says the child may need attention and calming and for you to give them a deep pressure hug (provided they’re not flailing around and trying to hurt you). With an emotional outburst, it’s important to give them space to work through it.“ They need to get it out of their system,” says Sophie. “If there’s a really shrill screaming going on, that’s telling you, ‘Get out of my face now, I’ve had enough of you’, in which case leave them to it – but you have to make sure they’re safe, obviously.
She also advises limiting your words as much as possible. “A child under the age of five can’t really process language and heightened emotion at the same time,” Sophie explains. “Try to use five words or less – that’s pretty much all they can compute. ”The language you use is also very important with behavioural tantrums and you should think hard about what you’re going to say before you speak. Sophie says: “The more words you use, the more angry they may get, or […]