How to Manage Tantrums in Power Kids

Kids screaming, yelling, throwing things… this is a tantrum. We want to avoid
them as much as possible, but how?

If we haven’t experienced them ourselves as a parent, we have all definitely witnessed kids having a tantrum. Whether they are told no, lose a game, or cannot have exactly what they want, children’s tantrums are a challenge to manage. They can be especially difficult when a child’s goal of misbehavior is power.

  • While this is a struggle, it is important to remain calm. Step back and stop to think about what you want to say. Take a few deep breaths, count to ten slowly and strategize.
  • Once you are regulated, you can help your child gain control of their emotions. Sit next to them and rock back and forth, taking slow, belly breaths. Give your child a cold drink of water. Show them empathy by reflecting their feelings-I know you are angry we cannot buy a new toy today, or I see you are sad that your sister won the game.
  • When your child has chilled out enough to talk, focus on solutions instead of punishment. If you are saying no, say it respectfully.
  • If consequences are needed, have them be natural and logical. When I pick up your toys instead of you, they will go on a high shelf for tomorrow. If you choose to be on the electronics past the limit, you then you choose not to play the next day.

To start decreasing tantrums in your child, let them know what to expect by establishing daily routines for homework, meals, or bedtime. Share power by giving them age appropriate responsibilities- you are old enough to choose what you wear to school, or give them a list of chores to pick from. Offer limited choices- you can do math or reading first today, do you want chicken or hamburgers for dinner?

Play cooperative board games with your child. Some of my favorites are linked below. Take turns being the leader in games such as Simon Says, Follow the Leader, or Mother May I. Puzzles or shared art projects are other ways to include each member of the family. Some of my favorite books for these kiddos are also linked below.

If you find you need more support to cope with your child’s behaviors, please contact me to discuss ways I can help.

Family Treasure Hunt Game
Noah’s Animal Rescue Game
Hoot Owl Hoot Game:
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Chocolate Covered Cookie Tantrum by Deborah Blumenthal
Millie Fierce by Jane Manning
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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