How to win a child through her tantrum?
What is a tantrum? What is the difference between a genuine cry or a genuine anger and the tantrum?
Why a child typically cries at home or when she sees her parents?
What are the effects of holding on to anger or sadness for a longer time?
How to show a child that we understand her feelings?
How to manage their tantrum in 3 steps?
What is the importance of family culture?
List of video timeline – discussion topic is given below:
00:10: What is a tantrum? What is the difference between a genuine cry or a genuine anger and the tantrum?
Typical symptoms of a tantrum are crying, shouting, anger, throwing things and it happens frequently. Most of the time during tantrum they are crying and angry at the same time. When a genuine cry or genuine anger turns into tantrum we can clearly see that the child is blowing it out of proportion. An adult can clearly see that the child is being illogical.
Usually, parents react to child’s genuine anger or genuine sadness with either explanation or a solution. The child feels that her feelings are ignored or not understood by parents. This is when a genuine anger or genuine sadness turn into a tantrum. It is child’s way of showing how important her feeling is to her. It is a child’s way to make her parents explain the importance of her feelings. Since parents could not hear it clearly in normal volume, now she has to increase the volume so that they can hear it. That’s why they start throwing the tantrum.
09:00 Why a child typically cries at home or when she sees her parents?
Home and parents are a source of security for a child. We feel secure at the place where we get love. We drop our guards when we are in a secure environment and we let our weakness show. Hence a child will cry when she comes home or when she sees her parents. That is her way of dealing and completing (closure) with her emotions or whatever she has gone through the day. When she is crying, she is also looking for the reassurance of that love, by asking parents to understand her emotions. The child wants parents to understand her pain and wants her parents to accept her with all her weaknesses (negative emotions). Once she has received security, it only takes about 2 minutes for them to calm down, as the emotion’s hormones are settled in 2 minutes.
13:00 Effects of holding on to anger or sadness for a longer time.
If the negative emotion continues for hours, then it becomes mood and the child becomes moody. If it continues for days, then it turns in to a temperament. Now a very small thing can again trigger this emotion in the child. If it continues for weeks and months that can turn into a personality tread.
15:00 How to show a child that we understand her emotions?
Typically parents try to distract the child from the subject that has caused her that pain. This is a big mistake, as the child has to go through that pain so that she can have a closure with it. Hence parents should talk more and more details about that pain so that the child receives the complete proof that parents understand her pain. Parents just have to show that they understand her pain and not necessarily has to agree with it. It is also not necessary to give any solution when they are going through the emotions. Never give any logical explanation to their emotions. One of the best way to show our understanding is when we can relate that emotion to our past experience.
When we acknowledge the child’s negative emotion, we tell her that it is okay to have such emotions and that leads to her high self-esteem. Since parents love her in spite of her negative emotions, the child will also love herself in spite of her weaknesses. When we learn to love and accept ourselves along with our weaknesses we feel good about ourselves and that is self-esteem. They learn to trust their heart and feelings.
Tantrum Management (Please watch the video for the examples)
29:00 Step 1: Don’t distract the child and understand her wishes or the pain in detail. Try to see things in her perspective and explain to her that you understand how badly she wants that thing, like a toy or a chocolate. Once we have shown that we understand, then address the insecurity part. That means tell her when she’ll be able to have it. Like we can tell her “Yes, let’s buy it for your birthday” or “Yes, we always have chocolates on Sundays.” Just in case if they are asking for something that is not possible to be satisfied then tell them that “If it was possible I would like to give it to you at some time or place.” It is most likely that the child will not agree with what we say and will start throwing a tantrum.
33:00 Step 2: Don’t tell the child not to cry. Don’t give her an explanation. Don’t give her any other solution. Understand her pain and emotions of not having that thing. Tell her that “I understand that you will feel angry because we came all the way to the mall and we are not able to have it.” “You must feel sad because your friend has it and you will have to wait until your birthday.” Most of the tantrum should be settled at this point as we have helped her to go through her emotions. However, in past, the child has learnt that if she pursues long enough then the parents will reach their melting. So depending on what the child has learnt in her past, she will continue her tantrum further to test her parents.
36:20 Step 3: Depending on how many time parents have given up to the child’s tantrums in the past, the length and the frequency of this stage will last. To un-condition the child, now she needs to learn that tantrum don’t pay. The child should also see that parents always keep their word and they always do as they say. So at this stage, we need to just be with the child. Just be with her tantrum and let her know that we understand her wishes and her feelings and she will get what she wants at the appropriate time and place according to family culture/agreement. When parents repeat this for a number of times the child will learn that parents are not going to break and they do as they say. The key is that parents should hold the limit with compassion.
39:40 Have a family culture
We need to have family cultures like we buy toys for birthday or festival, fun food on weekends etc. This helps the child to satisfy their urges with a discipline. It is possible to make a new culture together if the situation demands it, however, it is important to be fair and authentic to the child. It can not be that we buy whatever we want and the child has a limit. Don’t be afraid of exposing your weaknesses, like sometimes things are not affordable. Explain to the child why we are not able to satisfy her wants with proper reasoning.
48:00 Important note!
When we start this kind of tantrum management, we will see more and more of such tantrums as the child has to test the limits and see if parents give up. Once the child has experienced how parents manage their tantrums with compassion, the tantrums will reduce. The child is left with the feeling that my parents understand me and they always do what they say. Tantrum management helps the child to deal with their emotions and emotional traumas in past. Tantrum management and unconditional love help the child to become more pure and sensitive. A sensitive child may show her anger and sadness triggered by minor things but it is released quickly without any emotional baggage. Slowly the child learns to talk about her emotions rather than just crying or showing her anger.