This works with all ages of children.
However, it looks different at different ages.
Here’s the thing that makes this so tricky.
Logically, we know, yeah, if my child is having a tantrum, I don’t need to.
Our Challenging Children Know Exactly How to Push our Buttons!
But our challenging kids know exactly how to push our buttons, and they get our internal saboteurs all riled up and suddenly we are spinning in our own thoughts and emotions. And they are spinning in their thoughts and emotions and we create what my youngest likes to call a spinning war.
And we get each other riled up, push each other’s buttons, and the tantrum escalates on both sides.
Tantrum in a Food Court
I remember when Devon was around one and a half or two years old and was having a giant meltdown in a food court. I remembered that advice that if your child’s having a tantrum, it doesn’t mean you need to have one too.
And I chose to stay calm and I offered him food and tried to calm him down. When he couldn’t stop crying, I just allowed him to cry and I ate my food so I could stay calm.
I’m pretty sure that blood sugar levels were in play in this situation, and I, again, was offering him food throughout that time.
By him seeing me stay calm, it helped him to calm down and eventually he chose to eat some food and we all managed to survive that experience.
Later on, I realized he had a ear infection and that was what made that day extra hard for him. And I was grateful that I was able to stay calm when he was freaking out.
Hiking Trip Cut Short
Another time when Devon was around seven years old, we went on a hike and he wanted to go down into this ravine and it wasn’t safe for him to go down there, but he basically was bugging us the whole time we were hiking about it. And would keep trying to go down and we would have to intercept him.
And it just added this layer of stress because I was worried about his safety and he was being so persistent and. irritating about not listening.
So we stayed calm, but we ended up interrupting our hike and turning around early because we could tell that he wasn’t going to get in control anytime soon.
So in order for us to emotionally stay in control, we needed to turn around at that point and just head back because we knew we couldn’t do the whole hike and like manage the situation.
Teenage Tantrums Sometimes Look Like Lawyer Logic
When he was older, it was sometimes trickier because he would use his logic to try and make me change my decision on this topic.
You know, whatever that decision was.
When I recognized this tactic of extreme logic as in a sense, a tantrum for his tween teen self, it helped me to stay calmer and then listen to his thoughts, calmly.
And then respond by staying true to what was best for him, which usually was my first decision, my original choice.
However, sometimes I would be able to shift and see it in a different way.
Tip #1 – Recognize Tantrums (more obvious when they are younger)
So my tip for today, I actually have two, is to learn to recognize what a tantrum looks like for your child at the stage they’re at. Remember, it could look way different for a two-year-old who literally might lay down on the ground and thrash around and scream.
Versus a 14-year-old who might have a tantrum that looks very different.
Every child has their own way of expressing themselves. However, be aware that sometimes as children age, they might use other tantrum type of activities that do not look like tantrums, but basically do push our buttons and get us all spinning.
And remember that by responding calmly and firmly, it helps their tantrum to lose steam. It helps their spinning to slow down because that’s really what tantruming is.
It’s spinning in thoughts and emotions.
Tip #2 – Use PQ Reps to stay calm!
Now my second tip is my favorite tool for staying calm is to use PQ reps, which I teach you two different ways to do this In my free class called Three Easy Steps to Stop Self-Sabotage, and I have many other ways to do PQ reps that I teach my clients.
to make the PQ reps really powerful. You need to practice them throughout the day to rewire your neural pathways. And this is so easy to do in my Mental Fitness bootcamp, which is part of my 12 week program that I have starting at the end of January.
Parenting Challenging Children Calmly and Confidently in only Three Months!!!
My signature program Parenting Challenging Children Calmly and Confidently in only Three Months, is starting in January, and I won’t be offering it again until the fall. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a free phone call so that we can talk and see if it’s a good fit for you.
The next time your child is having a tantrum – try these tips!
So the next time your child is having a tantrum, regardless of their age, regardless of what that looks like, I want you to try to stay calm and try that PQ rep. Take some deep breaths, remembering that when you respond calmly and firmly and kindly, that will help their tantrum to lose steam. Just almost imagine that it’s like their energy kind of draining out their overactive energy, draining out of their bodies.