Teamwork and Parenting: Handling Temper Tantrums
One of the joys of teamwork and parenting is watching your kids grow into their personalities and develop hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes. Unfortunately, that growth also comes with temper tantrums. All I can say is this: teamwork with your spouse will be crucial in your parenting decisions with tantrums. I can’t say that I always make the best decision in handling a temper tantrum, but I have a few suggestions that may help the process if you’re struggling.
Separate Your Child to a Quiet Space
When my child has a temper tantrum, the best thing we do is to separate them from their surroundings. If we are home, we send them to their room for a few minutes. The timing all depends on how ridiculous their current tantrum is. Now, this becomes more difficult if the tantrum is in a public setting. We have left restaurants, grocery stores, libraries, churches, family outings and you get the idea. If the tantrum occurs in a public setting, separate your child immediately from the situation. Show them that you’re still in control and that this will not be tolerated. This will help re-set their mindset and give them a quiet space to think over their thoughts.
Talk About Feelings
After giving my child some time to think about how they acted, I want to make sure that I take time to sit with them and talk about their feelings. No, I’m not a therapist. No, I’m not a counselor. Yes, I’m their father. It’s my responsibility to make sure I understand my kids and raise them to be the best that they can be. I want to understand them and know them like the back of my hand. Even when they have bad days and act out, I want to understand why.
Maybe there are issues at school that I don’t know about. Perhaps there are issues with a friend that I don’t know about. Maybe they’re just feeling sad today and need their dad to listen and cheer them up. This job takes parenting and teamwork. This step is easier said than done. Sometimes, I do find myself getting frustrated and have to tag out to have my wife deal with the feelings aspect. But at the end of the day, this is a step that shouldn’t be skipped.
Once you have the opportunity to separate your child and talk about feelings, it’s time to reset expectations. You want to have that conversation as to why that tantrum was not acceptable. What are the expectations moving forward? Apologies are needed. Forgiveness is needed and encouraged. Hugs are always our favorite ways to move on in my household. However you wrap up that conversation, make sure to let your child know that you love them and that you are going to work with them.
After all, that’s what teamwork is all about.