The strategy to handle a tantrum
Seeing as how the causes of meltdowns and tantrums are different, so are the strategies for dealing with them. To tame tantrums:
- Recognize the purpose of your child’s tantrum behavior, such as to get attention or to get what he or she wants/needs, without giving into them
- Reinforce positive behavior by calling attention to what your child does right
“By positively reinforcing compliance and appropriate responses to frustration, you’re teaching skills and since you can’t comply with a command and tantrum at the same time, simultaneously decreasing that aggressive noncompliant tantrum behavior” said Dr. Lopes.
- Look for opportunities to build on your child’s skills (impulse control, communicating wants and needs, problem solving, etc.)
- Get help if necessary