Whether they occur within the privacy of your home or in a public place, temper tantrums can be exhausting, infuriating, and a large source of helplessness. These strategies will help you handle temper tantrums put on by children of all ages.
-Recognize Tantrum Sites-
If your child typically causes a scene while shopping (likely over some item he or she wants that you refuse to purchase), be prepared for such incidents before the fact. Being prepared will minimize the infusion of frustration that comes right on the heels of a tantrum.
Many parents take one or both of the following actions when their child has a tantrum: they give in to the child’s demands or they become angry. Do neither. Instead, remain calm but firm. Many children conduct tantrums because they get their way. As they build up to a crying, screaming fit, use positive reinforcement to encourage them to stay strong, but also remind them that if they do cause a scene, there will be consequence; then alert your child as to those consequences.
-Stay Close But Silent-
If their behavior escalates to a tantrum, stay close at hand, but do not speak to them until the tantrum subsides. Communication feeds into their behavior: by speaking, you demonstrate that they can get your attention if they scream and cry. Talk when they are finished, not before.
Keep to your word regarding the penalties you impose: if you threaten to take away television time, stick to your word. Do not renege later simply because the child finally stopped screaming in an attempt to get you to change your mind.