Child upset

How To Stay Calm During a Temper Tantrum and Help Your Child at The Same Time

There’s not much, if anything, about a tantrum that is pleasant or comfortable. They can easily send you into a panic, especially when others are around. Children are very keen on picking up body language and emotions of those around them. When they notice panic, that may actually cause the tantrum to be worse. 

The best way you can help your child during a tantrum is to remain calm. Here are some pointers for doing so.

Integrative psychotherapy group

Don’t Pressure Yourself

As a parent, you want to be able to fix everything for your child. A child having a tantrum is no different. Your first instinct is probably wanting to help fix it. 

One helpful thing that you can do for yourself is to take that pressure off. Let go of the need to fix the tantrum. This is just how your child is able to express themself and get out some internal stress. 

By allowing yourself to take a deep breath and not get worked up, you will find that it can help the tantrum finish sooner. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to be calm and present for them while they work through their emotions.

Child upset

Learn to Accept It

It’s also helpful to get into the practice of accepting the tantrum. Loss of control, shouting, shrieking, and all the physical movements can be exceptionally draining for the both of you.

Take a moment to breathe, then find a way to accept it. Use this time as an opportunity to support and connect with your child. Their worst tantrums will always occur with you because they trust you. You’re their safe space. Be sure, no matter how frustrated you are, you’re putting on a brave face for them and continuing to make them feel safe.

Find Somewhere Quiet

When tantrums occur in public places, it can be hard for either of you to work through it effectively if everyone is staring. If you’ve been able to find that acceptance, they may still struggle if they’re getting extra and unwanted attention. 

Politely remove them from the public eye and find some place quiet where you both are able to work through it. Go out to the car, find a separate room, or go around the corner. Be mindful of your own body language and tone of voice while removing them from the situation. 

Don’t Rush Them

If you’ve ever experienced a tantrum with your child before, you have probably learned that rushing it will only make it worse. When a tantrum starts, be mentally prepared to give yourself some extra time to navigate through it. If you notice a trend with your child where tantrums occur around certain scenarios, build in extra time for those to occur so you aren’t missing appointments or start times for activities. 

Your child isn’t choosing to have these tantrums, but it’s their way of releasing their emotions. They need to feel supported and not have their feelings negated.

Save Discussion for Afterwards

When your child is in the midst of writhing on the floor or shrieking over their sobs, they aren’t going to be able to hear whatever discussion you’re trying to initiate with them. Nor do they want a lecture at this time. 

They’re not in the most rational state of mind and won’t be receptive until after it’s over. Once the tantrum comes to an end, then you can have more success talking through the situation and develop and action plan. 

Tantrums Are Healthy

At the end of the day, a tantrum isn’t a reflection on you or your skills as a parent. There’s a balance of peaceful moments and loud ones for all parents and children. This is a normal and healthy part of development.

Contact Us

If you’re struggling with remaining calm during tantrums or don’t know how you can best help your child, contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group to learn more.