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Q: My Child Throws Temper Tantrums, What Can I Do?

Posted August 08, 2012 in Advice Column, Johnston

A: Temper tantrums are one way a young child lets out strong emotions before he or she is able to express them in socially acceptable ways. Although a child may seem totally out of control, these fits of rage, stomping, screaming and throwing himself or herself to the floor are a normal part of childhood development. Although temper tantrums sometimes happen without warning, knowing the situations when your child is more likely to have a tantrum and thinking ahead may help.
• Stick to routines for meals and sleep times.
• Distract your child with a toy he or she is allowed to have.
• Prepare your child for changes or events by talking about them before they happen.
• Let your child know your rules and stick to them.
• Some helpful hints to respond during your child’s temper tantrum:
• Stay calm.
• Ignore the child until he or she is calmer.
• Do not hit or spank your child.
• Do not give in to the tantrum. When parents give in, children learn to use inappropriate behavior to get their way.
• Do not “bribe” your child to stop the tantrum. The child then learns to act inappropriately to get a reward.
• Use time-out for a short period to allow the child to get back in control.

Information provided by Stacy Carmichael, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, ChildServe, 5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, 787-8750.





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