Non-Violent Discipline Techniques: A Calmer Alternative to Righting a Tantrum
When your little one is throwing a real tantrum, usually in the middle of a busy supermarket or somewhere equally as packed, arms are flailing, legs are stamping, voice is screaming, and tears are flowing, simply because they can’t have what they want, and it’s easy to get upset yourself, frustrated, and even let your temper flare just as theirs has.
Once upon a time, back in the day, spanking used to be the method of cure for such a situation, and it was so common that nobody batted an eyelid, however we have come on a long way since such times, and nowadays we’re encouraged, rightly so, to look towards more calmer discipline techniques, often referred to as non-violent. It’s about teaching right from wrong, about teaching appropriate behaviour, and helping your child understand that no means no.
So, what can do you do when your little angel has suddenly turned into a little devil and refuses to see sense?
Easy to say, not so easy to do, right? Well it’s imperative that no matter how stressed you might feel, you stay as calm as possible yourself. If you start shouting and getting stressed out then your child is going to pick up on it and tantrum all the more.
Don’t give in
You can’t be giving in to every demand your child is throwing at you when they’re not getting what they want, because this simply sets a precedent that in the future, if they throw a tantrum, you’ll give in and they can have whatever they desire. You’re setting yourself a very bad example if you do this!
It’s difficult to do this when you’re in a public place, but you can simply ignore them in this case instead. When your child is throwing their tantrum, walk away, ignore it, turn your back and busy yourself with something else, don’t give them the attention that their tantrum is demanding and eventually they’ll wonder why they’re continuing with it. Isolate yourself, don’t even look at them, and the tantrum will stop sooner, teaching them that such behaviour won’t get them what they want.
Remove them from the situation
If you’re at home and your child is playing up because you won’t let them have something, pick them up, put them in their room and take them away from the situation. If they try to go back into the room, simply say nothing, pick them up again, and place them back where they have tried to escape from. Continue this as long as it takes. It will be an exhausting process no doubt, but once the seed is sewn, you will win out.
Talk to your child after the event
After the tantrum has passed, praise your child for regaining their control back, explain what it was about their behaviour you didn’t like, e.g. it wasn’t that you don’t love them, you turned your back because you didn’t like their behaviour. Obviously this will work when your child is old enough to understand the meaning behind it.
Righting a tantrum can be a very difficult process, but the most important thing for you as a parent is to maintain your self-control and stand firm in the face of what can sometimes be a very difficult situation.