What Not To Do When Kids Throw Tantrums And Misbehave
1. Do not work on the child.
a. “I am the parent, so listen to me.” This is not acceptable to the child. The child cannot be satisfied if we tell them to listen. They won’t because they have decided not to.
b. Smile and watch them quietly. Does not work too because when you are in public and your kids are misbehaving, you want to be responsible for their behaviour.
c. Laugh at them because it seems silly and funny. That would be inappropriate as you are the adult.
d. Ignore them. Does it help them to behave any better in public next time?
Of course the stress is inconsiderable. If the child can even sense your reaction, and increase the performance if you seem to be embarrassed by them. It is not easy to use positive reinforcement, as Lisa Dean puts it.
What To Do When Kids Throw Tantrums And Misbehave
2. Work on the situation.
- Be in the moment. Drop everything you do or think and be present for them. Stay still for a second. If your child is about to fall over the edge, what would you do? You will drop everything. Your survival instinct takes over. You rescue your child.
- The child who throws tantrums in public is not hurting anyone but himself or herself. Abandon all activities momentarily and sit still. In a public area, there are quiet corners. Bring the child to a quiet corner and remain there until the situation calms down.
- Quick reflex. This is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus. It is an intuitive response to what you already know has to be done. This is a soft skill which requires you to contain all your anger and frustration for a longer period time. Breathe in deep and slow down your movement. Pace yourself before you act on the situation. As long as the child is not hurting himself or herself, or disturbing the peace you will be able to take charge quite readily.
Words have to be remain cleverly constructed and maintained at a tone that is comfortable for all ears. “If you do this , you won’t get that (from me).” That is authoritarian parenting. If you have to resort to saying this to your child, it is time to review your expectations on your child. The child is growing, the adult has reached the norms of growth. Think deep and dig deep, where are you going with this? The child may not even have the energy and maturity to follow through the instructions.
I would use authority if I were in a classroom as their teacher because I will be in charge of the space we share together. Which brings us to this most important point. What do you do?
Space And Situation
That is where you begin. Begin with taking charge of the space. If you are married, your room is your space. Your kids should not enter your room before 8 a.m. when you are getting ready for the day and after 8 p.m. when you are getting ready for bed. The same goes in public areas. Note when and where you can start telling your children to start behaving themselves in public areas. In the car or before you leave the house. If you are not sure what to expect, explain the situation anyway. That we are all going to a public space, there will lots of people , so you want your children to stay together, listen to mum and dad and not start darting off on their own.
We are so used to executing our plans without explaining to our kids because we are the adults in charge. In fact, if you are bringing your children along with you, it is preferable that you explain everything.
I had this conversation with another parent. The reason we lose control is that we work on the child.
We have to evolve to become better as kids experience life and growth at different stages and phases. Choosing to remain just “I am the parent” mode will create a distance between you and the children. As we hope for them to listen to us, they too wish we could understand them more of how they want to grow.
Children Will All Grow Up Eventually
They say it’s easier to look after 3 children than one child. Because the one child has no friends. Your entire day is spent on thinking and planning on what to do with one kid. When you have more children, you can arrange play dates, clean up time, cooking lessons. Assume the role of the educator and facilitator, you will find parenting makes it flexible for you to put on different hats; it is fun.
And always remember, you do not have to mind these kids forever. They don’t remain kids forever. Children will all grow up eventually.