By Elizabeth Fox
Teachers, parents and babysitters alike: they all are going to have to deal with tantrums more than once. No child’s personality is the same, but there are approaches you can use that will work on most children, even if you haven’t had luck with calming them yet.
1 Change your tone of voice
Kids are smart. They pick up on the little things without realizing. If they’ve heard you use that same tone to scold them again and again, they are eventually going to realize that no real danger comes out of it, and they are still going to try and get their way. When you change your tone of voice, it presents a slightly new situation that they aren’t familiar with. They will pick up on that change, feel less secure in their tantrum and listen.
2 Explain the situation
When you don’t have a good understanding of a situation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Children feel the same way, and when it happens, they can lash out. Whether it was a miscommunication with a peer, a rule you set in place, or a punishment for misbehaving, you can explain your reasoning calmly so they have an understanding of why things went the way they did.
If the child is crying, speak with a light smile on your face. Presenting more negative emotions could make the situation worse. Be sure to speak reassuringly.
4 Crouch and present your hand
Big height differences can be scary. By crouching to the child’s height and holding your hand out, allowing them to take it if they wish, you are having a face-to-face connection instead of looming over them while they cry and fuss.
5 Scold firmly
You might be surprised how effective proper scolding can be if done correctly. If a child isn’t responding to comfort or being warned, take them aside and tell them in a firm tone that what they are doing is not acceptable behavior. Be sure to be quick with this talk. It should take no more than a few seconds, as a child may lose interest if it’s any longer, and it may lose its intimidation factor. Children may be used to lighter scolding, such as others casually telling them not to do something, and it won’t hold any weight with them. Using a firm (but not angry) approach may help.
6 Have them look you in the eyes
One reason a child may not be responding to being scolded is lack of eye contact. Many children automatically find eye contact out of respect when they are being scolded, while others look away out of guilt. Some, however, will occupy their eyes with things on the walls or floor to avoid the tension. Make sure they see your eyes when you are speaking. If you cannot get eye contact, and they simply won’t look at you, don’t stress over this. It may simply be because they are afraid, and you can just continue scolding.
7 Try speaking to the child like an adult
Looking at parents who use this method, you might notice the maturity level of their children is higher than the average age level. Many people automatically use a different voice when speaking to children, but try talking as if the child were a full grown adult, at least in tone. You can’t set extreme expectations for communication, but you may find that the child takes more responsibility for themselves when you move away from traditional methods of speaking to children.
Each child is different in their own right, so adjust these methods as you see fit.Taking care of a child is not an easy task, but it’s an incredibly important one.With these tricks and some thinking outside the box, you may have better control over temper tantrums, and you should have an easier time setting rules and scolding.