👩‍👦"How To Respond To Kids Tantrum"

(5 Minute Read) This one simple response to tantrums might solve all your problems!

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So the other day, I was tutoring two students and everything was going great. We were currently on our break and just playing a fun game called Hexanaut, and of course, I would encourage everyone to play it. We're pretty much addicted to it. But then the break ended. I gave them a warning that once you die in the game, we're going back to reading. They already know the drill; we literally do this five days a week for the past six months, so I thought it was going to be a simple transition. However, one of my students died in the game, and today, for some reason, everything went off course.

What I mean by this is that he started to have a meltdown—not just a simple tantrum of saying no. It started off with him saying no, then he got up and exclaimed, 'I don't want to do this. I hate this. This is the worst day of my life.' Then he started walking into a wall over and over and over.

But have you ever had a kid who just wouldn't listen? You try to talk it out, you recall that you already set your boundary and had them agree from the get-go? And they just didn't listen. You felt like your child just wasn't going to listen at all. You might have gone straight to punishment, like saying 'I'm going to take this away' or 'No dessert or snacks' Listen, when I was younger and didn't understand gentle parenting, sometimes I leaned into that.

But now, I respond with just this one way. It has made my life way simpler, less stressful. No worries. And if I gave you the ending to what happened with my student, it is that he did the work that we needed to do. And then later on, we played the game. Everyone had a great time. But before we continue this conversation, go support the sponsor we love today, here’s a quick ad for them.

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The first thing I did was just say, 'It's time to continue our work in algebra,' and he just said no, 'I don't want to do this.' I asked kindly, 'Can you please come sit back down now? Don't worry; we will continue playing the game after we're done working for 30 minutes.' But he replied with another no.

So, you know what I did? I just said okay, let him stand in the corner as he bumped into the wall, let his emotions start running, and I continued working with my other students. This might sound foreign or crazy.

Okay, I kind of stopped the story at the most intense situation, but let me give you a story that might help you understand why I responded how I did. Think about the time when you were having a great day, and then all of a sudden, something just interrupted and threw off your whole day. Let's say you were having a conversation with your partner, and it just felt like they were nagging you or they weren't listening. And you just felt like you needed to shut down or get up and leave the room to take a break.

Us needing to take a moment for ourselves is the same thing kids need too. The only difference is a lot of kids haven't learned yet how to communicate that. They need a second. So when we look back at the moment with my student, when he started to throw his tantrum, I recognized in that moment that I don't need to take control over this and make him do the work right now, especially because he's just getting more upset.

I realized that he was having issues regulating his emotions in that moment, and I have those moments too. When I'm in those moments, I need a second. So I thought to myself, my student probably needs a moment too. I just let him have his tantrum.

*Please give a gentle round of applause too…*

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