We all know how difficult it is when it comes to kids' tantrums, stubbornness, and crying. Believe me, I have been at your place too when it comes to kids showing their tumultuous emotions filled with lots of tears in a bustling store or street, maybe for candy or a particular toy.
I have tried some tactics that have helped me a lot in calmly nurturing those rush of emotions that kids are feeling. Curated from the well-known book How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen
Acknowledge Feelings with Words
Even though it may seem a little foolish, it helps to comprehend and communicate your understanding of their feelings and emotions. For example, let's say that your child is thrilled to see the swings when you take them for a stroll in the garden in the evening.
Because your child does not understand the concept of waiting and is causing trouble because the swings are occupied, what would you do if your child started throwing a tantrum and refused to wait to swing on the swings?
The traditional way is to say: “You have to wait for your turn, don’t make a scene now”
But the book suggests: “Oh you feel angry when you can’t get the swing for yourself right? How angry does it make you feel?”
Boy you’re angry for not swinging on the swings, aren’t you?
In this way, you acknowledge their feelings and they know that you understand how they feel. In addition to that, you also give your child a vocabulary for their emotion and it would be a thrilling experience to hear them say “I AM ANGRY” instead of throwing toys, kicking any object, or just simply crying.
Accept all feelings and limit actions.
While all feelings can be acknowledged certain actions can be kept under the boundaries.
For example, One of my friends has two kids, 3-year-old Shelly and 1-year-old Sam.
Shelly was playing with his lego when he noticed Sam crawling towards him to play with the lego. He immediately shoved Sam. The mother noticed it and realized that she needed to use a different approach here.
She says to Shelly, “Oh no, here you are working on something special and the giant baby is coming to grab it. How frustrating!”
Shelly swiftly puts some legos on the ground and moves his playwork on the coffee table.
He figured out what to do to keep the baby happy.
You might be thinking, "Shouldn't there be moments when we need to explain to children why they have to do something and teach them to respect others' feelings?" The response is affirmative, but we're not at that point yet. Until we acknowledge their feelings, children may not fully understand our best explanations and heartfelt pleas.
Acknowledge feelings with Writings and Art
Sometimes even the things we mentioned above don’t work on kids.
The next tactic would be to make a “wish list” and explain to your kid that whatever goes on the wishlist, Mommy or Daddy will buy you that later in maybe Christmas or on your birthday.
So let’s assume you are in an ice cream parlor and your kid wants more scoops of their favorite ice cream, but they don't understand the overly sweet situation.
So, to prevent it, try talking to them like, “Oh you want more Chocolate scoops, I would write it down on the wishlist.”
But If this also doesn't help curb the tantrum then, begin making art on the paper, say “okay, so you want a waffle cone, with a chocolate scoop” and maybe they would say “No, mango scoop, 3 scoops”, draw that and they might say “Add more sprinklers on it, I want extra sprinklers,”
Draw it too and so on.
Drawing a picture can help a lot. It's like a magic trick to make them forget about what they want. It's a great way to calm them down and make things easier. Also, you get a list of what they want or like for their next birthday or Christmas.
Match Emotions with Emotions
Sometimes in certain situations, drawing doesn't help - in the worst cases, you need to match their emotions with your own. Understanding and acknowledging them for example,
Sometimes, make the emotions go away by talking in that same emotion but yes understand that you are talking to a child here, who loves their favourite toy, person or place.
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