Ahhhhh! (stomp… stomp… stomp on the floor). Ahhhhh! (flop… flop… flop on the floor). Ahhhhh! (bang… bang… bang fists on the floor).
“Children have tantrums because they want your attention. It doesn't matter if the attention is positive or negative… So if you lose your cool and yell, or have a tantrum yourself, you've given them what they want. If you can, it's best to pretend to ignore a tantrum. At home, you can act as if it's not interrupting things. After they quiet down, you may be able to negotiate with them, saying, ‘I noticed your behavior, but that won't get my attention.’” (Hoecker, 2006).
“…many parents found an easy way out – distraction… it’s so much easier not to discipline at all. Distraction was the alternative, at least for little kids. If a kid won’t eat his green beans, and we don’t have the time to encourage, wheedle, whine or demand… we put Cool Whip topping on them. Distraction makes the distasteful aspects of growing up more palatable, it seems, and takes the edge off of difficulty… Providing there is something available with which to distract… children can be deflected from going after what they really want by accepting whatever it is we give…” (Kropp, 2001, page 74)
“We have also learned that mothers are less effective when they try to distract their misbehaving children than when they use clear reprimands. In fact, when distraction does not work and mothers change their tactics to reprimanding, children become upset, as though they are offended by the change. On the other hand, children are not particularly upset when they are consistently and prudently reprimanded. Distraction may be less effective than reprimanding because distraction provides positive attention to misbehavior. (O’Leary, 1995, p12).
“Mothers who initially responded to transgressions with reprimands were later able to use distraction without adverse effects. Conversely, mothers who attempted to manage behavior with distraction first were less effective, and their children transgressed to a great deal. When these mothers did implement the more effective strategy of reprimanding transgressions, their children cried and whined at high rates, behaviors likely to punish their mother’s use of better discipline. (Reid, O’Leary, & Wolff, Vol. 22, No. 2, 1994).
1. Support and help children having frustration- or fatigue-related tantrums.2. Ignore attention-seeking or demanding-type tantrums.3. Physically move children having refusal-type or avoidance-type tantrums.4. Use time-outs for disruptive-type tantrums.5. Hold children having harmful or rage-type tantrums. (Schmitt, 2006).
TYPE OF TANTRUM PRIMARY ISSUE RESPONSEManipulative tantrums power & control set boundaries/limitsUpset tantrums distress validation/nurturingHelpless tantrums despair empowermentCathartic tantrums built up stress permission & guidance to release