Your preschooler seems to be throwing more tantrums these days. What’s happening?
Tantrums are basically emotional outbursts when a child is in distress. Jean Goh, principal of Da Little Preschool, says some of these triggers can stem from:
• not getting what he wants
• when he is tired or hungry
• needing or seeking attention
• the inability to do things or lack of language skills
• over-stimulation, such as being overwhelmed by unfamiliar faces or surroundings
She shares how you can respond better to his tantrums.
It starts with you
You and your spouse are his first teachers; therefore, a nurturing and loving environment will help him learn to be patient as well. Remember that a child’s behaviour and language is the direct reflection of his parents.
Talk to me
When you talk to your kid, get down to his eye level and get him to look into your eyes; this will get his attention to stop crying or yelling. This also shows him that you respect him as a child.
(Also read: Is your child always angry? Here’s what to do)
Laughter is the best medicine
Try humour! You’ll be surprised when you divert his attention to something that cracks him up – this way, he’ll forget about his outburst.
The reason that children behave in more positive ways in school is because there are routines involved in the curriculum that constantly engage them. This adds structure into their lives and helps them manage their emotions. You can also do this at home by putting some structure into Junior’s daily routine.
Make time for a time-out
Giving your child a space to calm down and reflect may be difficult in his early years. It is difficult to simply place a kid who is in distress in a corner, so it’s best to provide a mat where he can sit and reflect. He will also come to know that there is a space created just for him when he is not feeling his best.
However, don’t keep him there for too long. The mat has to be in a visible space for you to still be able to watch him. You could refer to it as the quiet corner or the thinking corner. Refrain from using negative words such as “naughty” or “bad” corner.
(Also read: Why boredom is good for your kid)
It’s important that he knows you are always there for him, even during a “time-out” session, so he doesn’t feel neglected.
Never give up
Because, as parents, you will also learn how to be more tolerant and be able to control your emotions around your children.