In my house we often have what I call the twin tantrum. It’s two screaming and crying little monsters. Sometimes I get really lucky and my 6-year-old Mia will join in the fun. I have learned a few things to help make these episodes less frequent and much more manageable. I will try to share with you some of the things that have worked for us. Each kid is different so these tips may not apply to everyone. Also be warned that I don’t have a specific style of parenting. I really don’t believe that one style/approach to parenting can apply to 6 kids.
- Breathe. Really deep breaths to help remain calm. These little monsters have a secret power of sensing when you are getting aggravated and will use it against you. The more worked up you get the more they work you. As stupid as it sounds counting to ten in my head works wonders for me.
- Don’t yell. I know this one can be hard because I occasionally snap and yell. No one is perfect and I understand what it’s like to reach your boiling point. Yelling often will extend the duration of the tantrum and just scare the shit out of your kid.
- Don’t hit your kids. Really what good comes out of spanking your kid. I’m not trying to be judgemental but learning another non-violent approach to parenting will benefit you and your child immensely. Getting the urge to smack them is normal. Trust me I often would like to. But I don’t and I never will. There are other effective ways to educate your children.
- Don’t pacify the situation. I know sometimes it would just be easier to give them what they want so they stop shrieking but it only makes them think that these tantrums will work to get them what they want. My friend Carrie once said,”I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Love this. Be strong.
- Don’t be afraid to parent your kids. Your kids may not like you sometimes but so what. You will only do them a huge disservice by being their “friend”. Set boundaries and teach them to respect you and others. I personally have a hard time being friends with adults that are spoiled brats with no boundaries. My kids won’t be one of those assholes when they grow up.
- Time outs work for most kids. If time outs don’t work try putting their favorite toy/game in time out. I know there are some debates on whether this is a good technique or not but in my house it works, so I do it. I am going to link Dr. Sear’s 10 Time-out techniques.
- Re-directing the tantrum. Sometimes I will randomly start dancing or laughing wildly during one of their tantrums and they often will stop a bit confused. Either way the bad behavior or fit stops. Not always but it makes me laugh to act the fool and I’m less angry while dealing with their multiple meltdowns.
- Lastly make sure you give your kids lots of positive re-enforcement. On days that we play together tons and I have less chores around the house they seem a lot happier. With a large family they are always competing for my attention. I really work hard to reward good behavior in our house.