There's bad news and good news. The bad news is that you cannot wish tantrums away and, yes, your kids are probably going to embarrass you in public on any number of occasions. That's, unfortunately, part of parenting.
The good news is this: If you learn how to think about tantrums correctly and realistically, and if you learn how to handle these outbursts calmly and decisively, you can train most kids to outgrow this obnoxious phase of their existence. Some children may take a few days, some a few months, and others may still blow up from time to time, but at a rate that is way less than the tantrum frequency they started at.
We have a question today from Emily, and it’s got a little trick to it. Emily is an occupational therapist.
Q: A two-year-old boy won’t stay in his timeout chair.
She says, “I’m trying to help one of my families implement this program with a toddler that is 26 months old. The mother has stated that she has used a timeout chair; however, the boy will not stay seated, so she feels like she has to hold him on the spot to keep him there.
Today we have a question from Erin who has her hands full.
Q: What should I do with a child who gets aggressive when it’s time for a timeout?
She writes, “I have a four-year-old who gets very aggressive when he gets to a three-count and needs a timeout. He does not go willingly to his room for the timeout, and he gets angry, scratches, hits, and pulls my hair when I attempt to escort him to timeout. If I do get him to his room, he'll kick the door for the duration of his timeout...
Question of the Week:
We have a 5 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. We've been trying to do 1-2-3 Magic for many months. My wife and I have a hard time staying patient, and especially after telling the kids the same thing several times over, we find ourselves raising our voices. I know that we are basically having a tantrum ourselves and that it's counterproductive, but we still struggle. Can you offer any tips to help stay calm even when you're tired and frustrated?
Do you have a question about the 1-2-3 Magic program, or a challenge you've not been able to resolve?
You're in your least favorite aisle of the grocery store: Aisle 5. That's the candy aisle. Your four-year-old daughter is screaming at you full blast because she's very upset that you would not allow her to have the candy bar she had sweetly pointed out. She's stuck in the cart, but you're sure she can be heard all throughout the store. It feels like a crowd is slowly gathering to see how you're going to handle the situation.
Does this situation sound familiar? Of all the behavioral problems parents face from their children, temper tantrums are probably the most upsetting as well as the hardest to manage. Major meltdowns may also be the most potent tool kids have when it comes to training their parents to do what the children want.
Kids' meltdowns often produce a painful feeling of temporary insanity in parents. This awful feeling, in turn, can produce horrible screaming matches and sometimes even physical abuse.