Temper tantrums can be the most stressful (and possibly the loudest) thing you will deal with as a parent to small children. Many parenting experts advise ignoring your child’s tantrum; however, it’s hard to ignore a screaming child and even more difficult to maintain your composure while doing so. Use these tips to help you ride out your child’s tantrum and restore peace in your home.
1) Start a load of laundry or a load of dishes in the dishwasher. This will give you something to focus on, and the white noise of the machines will help drown out your child’s yelling.
2) Remove them or yourself from the situation. Move your child to their bedroom or another safe room where they can be alone. If this isn’t possible, remove any hazards near your child, then close yourself in the bathroom or your bedroom so you can take a few deep breaths to revive your patience. This will reinforce to your child that tantrums are not rewarded with attention.
3) Use your iPod. Just having the headphones in your ears can soften the noise. To distract yourself, try listening to an audio book or music. You can also download and listen to podcasts specifically for relaxation, which can help you cope with the stress in front of you. To avoid hearing damage, don’t turn up the volume more than 75% of its maximum.
4) Count backwards in your head. Counting forward is mindless, and leaves you open to outside distractions. Counting backwards requires a little more focus, especially if you start at an obscure number such as 743. If that doesn’t work, recite the words to your old school’s fight song or try naming all the students in your second grade class. All of these will divert your concentration elsewhere.
5) Remind yourself that it won’t last forever. Remind yourself over and over if necessary. It’s hard to think that someday you may look back on this and laugh, but try asking your own mother about some of your memorable tantrums, and you’ll see it’s true. Your child won’t always express their anger and frustration by melting down at your feet, but soon enough they won’t be small enough to sit in your lap, either.