Temper tantrums come with the territory of preschoolers. There are ways to help a preschooler ease out of a temper tantrum and even prevent a temper tantrum from taking place. Below you will find some ideas for dispelling and preventing preschool temper tantrums. All of these are positive discipline options.
Above all else, do what you can to prevent your preschooler from initiating a temper tantrum. Make sure that each day he gets three nutritious meals, healthy snacks, a daily nap and a good night of sleep. Do not wear your preschooler down during the day by dragging him here and there. Choose one or two main activities per day and separate them with a nap, if you are able to do so. Give your preschooler plenty of positive reinforcement and assurances of your love throughout the day. Spend a significant amount of time interacting with your preschooler during the day. Do not just leave him to entertain himself hour after hour. While the ability to play alone is important, a preschool child craves interaction with others. If he does not receive that, you might find that he reverts to bad behavior in order to get it.
Another way that you can prevent some temper tantrums from your preschooler is to offer him choices throughout the day. Let him be an active participant in his world. Beginning with breakfast, does he want cold cereal or oatmeal? Does he want to help wash the dishes or wipe off the table? Then move on to dressing for the day. Offer him two choices of outfits. Does he want to wear the blue playsuit or the red? Continue offering your preschooler these choices throughout the day and many temper tantrums may be avoided.
If your preschooler is showing signs of an oncoming temper tantrum, try redirecting his attention to something else. For example, if he’s upset about his older sister getting to go to a friend’s house to play, try to draw his attention to a cool cartoon on TV or get out some craft materials and ask if he wants to help you create something.
Offer an Opportunity to Calm Down
But what if the temper tantrum has already begun? What to do then? Simple. Offer your preschooler a chance to calm down. Choose a quiet area in your home, if you are home, that has a few books and quiet toys in it. Ask your preschooler if would like to go to that area and have some quiet play to help him calm down. Perhaps he would like you to sit with him in the quiet area? Try singing a soothing song. Smile. Let him know that he is loved and that you understand that he is upset.
Use Your Preschooler’s Temper Tantrum as an Opportunity to Teach
Use temper tantrums as an opportunity to teach your child. Teach your preschooler that while it is okay to be mad, it is never okay hurt himself or another person, nor any property. Your preschooler should learn to use his words to express his dissatisfaction with a situation. Always, without fail, assure your preschooler of your love.