I want to talk with you about the idea of justice – being fair to oneself and others. If a child has a tantrum, he or she is exerting power in a negative way. Being fair to yourself and others means not allowing the child to control your actions by throwing a tantrum.
There are a few simple steps you can take when your child throws a tantrum:
- Place the child in a neutral space – on a chair, in a quiet corner of the room.
- Explain that the child can come out when he’s ready to talk in a normal voice.
- If the child tries to leave, gently but firmly bring him back. For an insistent child, you may have to sit there and hold him firmly until he gets the idea that you are serious about this.
- When the child stops screaming/crying, sit down with him and talk calmly about the problem.
- Listen to what the child has to say. Restate the problem from his perspective so he knows you understand his point of view.
- Say “Next time this happens, we’ll do ___.” and offer a more constructive alternative to the tantrum.
Can you imagine what our schools and workplaces would be like if children and parents learned the skills of peacefully resolving conflicts?
by Sara DeHoff