👩‍👦"How To Guide Kids Through Trama"

Can we admit that our kids tantrums can be some of the hardest tings to manage in rush?

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Okay, so the other day I wrote about how to respond to kids' tantrums. Simply put, it's just letting them have their moment because it's just emotional dysregulation. But the more I deal with kids' tantrums, the more I start doing something that doesn't seem common. However, it has helped me guide children through these moments.

But the biggest key to it all is doing it after they have this moment. So, back to yesterday, as I mentioned, my student was having a tantrum, just bumping into the wall. I know most people would just love to make it where by saying a magic word. Poof! The tantrum instantly stops. However, the common thing I do every time is wait until they calm down and can hear me.

Have you ever noticed a parent trying to get their kid out of the store by picking them up, only to have the child fight back and try to wriggle out of their arms? It just doesn't work, does it? Or perhaps you've been in a situation where you felt super uncomfortable. Something happened that you didn't like, and the person who caused it tried to get closer to you or kept on talking, despite your obvious discomfort.

You found yourself pushing back, but they didn't seem to understand what was going on. So you went into fight or flight mode, trying to get away as quickly as possible, kids do this too. Maybe you even started yelling or getting very frustrated. Now, hear me out. The biggest thing that you'll hear from many people is that the timing of when you choose to guide them affects the whole outcome. But before we continue this conversation, go support the sponsor we love today, here’s a quick ad for them.

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Have you ever seen an untrained dog encounter a new person? The dog might jump all over them, showering them with kisses and excitedly pulling them around. Then, the owner rushes in to save the day, trying to get the dog to sit, stop, and lay down. They attempt to guide the dog into behaving correctly in that moment, but no matter what the owner says, the dog is just too excited and eager to meet new people. Do you think that's the best time to train the dog, with new faces and smells around? In my experience, it rarely works out well. The best training I've seen for dogs usually occurs in a controlled environment.

Now, please don't think I'm equating children to dogs. What I am saying, though, is that the environment in which you choose to guide and teach your child can change everything.

So, there are two main ways I guide a child during a tantrum. Of course, in the middle of it, I wouldn't intervene, as I mentioned in yesterday's article. That's when I've already established boundaries and I give them space until they're ready to come back and calm down. Maybe it's 30 seconds, maybe it's two minutes. Sometimes, we're in a rush, but two minutes in the grand scheme of things, is not much compared to our whole lifetime. Even if it's not convenient for me or if we're pressed for time, in the long term, I know it'll be beneficial. Instead of forcing the child's hand, the two main times I guide them are after they calm down or before the tantrum even begins.

I know the ideal scenario is to set up expectations, and I would recommend everyone to do so. However, with my students, I set up expectations six months ago, and I remind them every time before we start a break or play a game. Once the time's up, it's time to get back to work. Yet, despite setting boundaries and communicating just before finishing a game, a tantrum may still occur. So, let's talk about what happens when the tantrum occurs. After it happens, I let them calm down, then I ask them if they're ready to continue.

*Please give a gentle round of applause too…*

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