You are in the middle of the grocery store and your child is throwing one whopper of a fit. How do you handle these temper tantrums children throw? When your child is acting out it is very important to avoid many of the most common reactions to their bad behavior. Although these may seem helpful they can actually confuse your child of very critical learning points in their lives.
1. Embarrassing: Do not yell at your child and say things like “do you want your friends to think you’re a big baby?” This may make your child feel embarrassed and judged. This may make him angry or upset.
2. Discounting: Never make your child feel as if something he is upset about isn’t worth being upset. By telling your child something is “not a big deal” may make your child second guess his own, natural feelings. This could make your child extremely frustrated.
3. Bribery: Telling your child you will give them some type of reward for doing what is already expected of them like, being polite, will only confuse them more. They should not expect an incentive for things you expect them to always do.
4. Threatening: Never threaten your child when they are already upset. Telling your child “I’ll give you something to cry about if you don’t stop,” will only scare them with violence.
5. Isolating: When your child has been acting out it is important not to shun them. Making a child go to their rooms alone because you don’t want to be around them when they act out could only make them angrier as well as feeling isolated and scared. Leaving your child to be sad all alone will not make them feel any better.
Although all of these responses may have good intentions, it will not necessarily get your point across and could end up confusing your child. Children cannot read between the lines and find the true meaning of what you feel unless you express them clearly and effectively. Correcting your child’s behavior doesn’t always have to be a punishment or threat, it can simply be a way of telling your child exactly why you disagree with what they are doing and how they can fix their actions. Learning to communicate with your child properly will be much more effective then scolding them and making them feel many emotions you may have not anticipated when reacting.