How to Properly Tame a Child's Tantrum
For babysitters and nannies who have run into the situation of a child having a tantrum, you may have found yourself being unable to soothe them and resolve the situation. As childcare providers, this breaks our hearts; we want nothing more than to help them through whatever is going on and continue having a good day! Although we cannot make it, so it never happens again, we can still learn skills that will help us calm them down while upset.
The way you say it matters. The difference between saying "Calm down." and "How can I help you?" is astronomical in a young child's mind! Asking them questions and helping them through whatever is going on will make them feel heard and allow the opportunity to work through the problem effectively. A couple more great examples are:
"Stop Crying." Instead say, "I can see this is hard for you."
"You're okay." Instead say, "Are you okay?"
I Can Handle It!
Remember to remain calm, don't punish them, don't show anger or frustration! Help them regain control of their emotions and give them the tools to be able to help themselves when their emotions get the best of them!
A few steps you can take to help your child when they are having a tantrum involve defining the problem, validating their feelings, giving them a few options on ways to react, find the good! This will help them slow down for a minute and rearrange their thoughts and work through them calmly!
A Look in the Mirror
Ask yourself if your behavior and attitude has had an impact on them throughout the day. When was the last time they were fed? Was I too caught up in the day to pay enough attention to them?
Looking within, or in the mirror, will help you move forward and you will be able to work through the process together.
Take a Deep Breath
Providing them the tools to calm themselves down will make a huge difference in the future. Teach them to calm down by taking a few deep breaths and counting them on their fingers. Here is a small list of ideas to help them gain a few tools to help them calm themselves while upset.
Play some music
Count to 10 or on their fingers a few times
Deep breaths while counting on their fingers
Calm them down: read their favorite book or soft toys
Organize: Help them organize their thoughts
Plan: What are we going to do next?