The Tantrum Zone. An enemy of all parents that can cause more problems than it should. Put down the parenting books, stop screaming at Alexa, or asking Google, how to handle your child’s devilish fits. Open your mind and take a different approach along with a big leap of faith. No, I am not a psychologist. A master’s degree? Nope. PhD? Nope. What I do have is a lot of very colorful life experience. I assure you that during the seasons when my son was in and out of the tantrum zone, acting a fool on floors, in department stores, the mall, and even the front yard; I was cursing that I was no Harry Potter, that I was void of super powers or any possibility of obtaining an invisible cloak. His tantrums were that loud, and that absurd. Despite that I found positivity, and laughter in them and it brought them to an end.
An example based on true life events - mine.
Once while grocery shopping I turned around for twenty and when I turn back around I see an avalanche of oranges tumbling down so fast! Yes, my son created that, he made it happen. Obviously, I asked my son to help pick all twenty of them up. He didn’t. Instead, he threw an orange at me, and then himself on the ground whilst screaming as loud as he could. So, there I am surrounded by rolling fruit, and monstrous screams. It was not cute, but it did make for a marvelous Snap Chat. The comical side I could see in it countered the horror of it. That is the goal to aim for in the Tantrum zone, and hopefully these five strategies will help you get there.
1. Worry of What Others Think- Make it obsolete.
Tantrums can cause us to break a sweat with embarrassment, and analysis paralysis as we watch them unfold, especially in public. You may be mostly worrying what others are thinking as they witness it. That must stop. For you to be able to tackle these hellacious moments; you must not give a damn what others think of the horror show your child is putting on. Keep the, “SO WHAT.”, mind-set. Stand confident and pay no attention to the faces sending you vibes of shame. Blow those off, do you, handle your child, and get on with your day. Worrying is caring in its worst form. Stop it and watch how calm you will feel the next time your child goes to the tantrum zone. A calm mind is a clear mind able to solve problems quicker. It’s a mother must-have, and not giving a damn is a mothers must do.
2. Discern your Child
Behavioral problems often terrorize mothers causing frantic searches seeking answers about what we have done wrong, and how to fix it. STOP. The information that you may be reading, or hearing is most likely part of, the universal truths. Universal is not bad; those angles can help, but they lack a crucial element about your child - individuality. Not one child or person on this earth is the same. Who they are and, how they act, or respond is not universal. The traits, and fragments that make up your children is intricate. They are profoundly unique. Observe your children well. Pay a lot of attention to what makes them tick to what calms their storms. Doing this will help you understand how they best relate to the world around them, to you, authority, and rules in turn giving you the upper hand with their tantrums. Personalised “plans of attack” are essential, and they work.
3. Never show fear
I don’t care what any professional in parenting writes, or babbles—most often, you are not the reason for the tantrums. You’re the target. No matter how bad the tantrum is do not react or respond showing any fear or that you are overwhelmed. If they smell fear, then they see it as a tool to get what they want. Then you will become a part of the reason, and the tantrum will be given power. That’s a recipe for disaster. Do not freak out, stay calm remembering you are the mom, and that screaming beauty is not is imperative. Do not allow the tantrums to make you cower or get you all in a frenzy. That’s showing fear just as giving in is. The less you show any fear, the more the tantrums will start to fade and prove to not be a good tool to your child.
4. Ignore, Ignore, Ignore
What we pay attention to, we give life to. Do not give life to a tantrum. Also remembering that you cannot reason with your child until they have come out of the tantrum zone is vital. When we are that upset our minds are in a primitive state unable to be reasoned with. A child’s mind has not fully developed yet so their primitive state is far more at large during a tantrum than we can imagine. Trying to reason with them is a waste of time and often makes it escalate. Softly, let them know you will not tolerate such behavior, and walk away while they are in beast mode. Once they see their tantrum isn’t getting a response they will probably give up, or you can bet on them wearing themselves out. Walk off and wait it out. If in public walk off but stay near for their safety but remain out of their sight. Guaranteed, they will get startled enough that they stop and jump up acting right on their way to find you.
5.“Looking for a New Mommy” Sign Tactic
This one makes me giggle. It works and in my experience lead to laughter. When the tantrum starts in public or at home go grab a sharpie, and poster board. Sit by them and start writing. First, your child may stop throwing their fit out of curiosity about what you are doing, or they may not but nevertheless write something about looking for a new mommy, or anything along those lines. Do not do this in anger. Stay calm with a fun smirk slightly showing. Tell them to go sit outside with that sign since they must be terribly miserable due to such outbursts. If all goes well, their initial facial expression will be epic. Try not to laugh and stay “serious”. This shifts the entire dynamic of the moment. They may go sit out there, or they may not but either way the tantrum will stop. It gives time for them to calm and a distraction to divert their mind to something else, you, their momma. Afterwards, be sure to let them know you were not serious, that you love them and love being their mommy, but that type of behavior is not acceptable. Sometimes it takes healthy fears to stop unhealthy acts. Note: Don’t do this if your child has abandonment issues. Also depending on the child this should be a last resort or only used at a threat level red.
Always be intentional. Make it fun not harsh. Crucial points to remember when battling tantrums.