how do you handle yourself during a toddler tantrum?

Kosh Wellness

On your journey to parenthood? Just begun or maybe going to start soon and you would be facing with a lot of advices from people who have been there done that! Now why do these constant advices come? Still the older parents are constantly advising the newer parents as to what all can go wrong.

Well we don’t know if we need to implement those advices, but what we do know that thankfully there are some concrete steps to take care of those moments of breakdown. Yes, from all the experiences of parents the worst is when the child is having a breakdown moment and can’t handle himself or herself. And it turns into a nightmare if that happens in the public place!

We also call these tantrums. They can breakdown for anything right from demanding their needs to be fulfilled to any other weird demands they may have or even if they feel sleepy or hungry. And one thing that is commonly observed is that the more we try to calm them down, the more they agitate. But what feels worst about the entire scenario is that somewhere we start getting agitated within and are extremely overwhelmed.

Such situations are reoccurring in nature and with every new episode of a child breakdown, our anxiety increases many folds. Although there is no written thumb rule of dealing with such situations, each parent has their own way of dealing with tantrums, but there is one technique to reduce your anxiety for sure.

So, let’s recreate one such scenario, imagine your child is having a breakdown moment in a public place and your temper starts going up. In most cases you will start getting angry at the child, threaten him or bribe him or try to pacify him and it may not work! Let’s look at the situation a little differently.

You know whenever we travel by air, the air hostess in her explanation of the protocols always tells us that first wear your oxygen mask before helping others. This is the exact formula that works in this scenario too.

In such moments, the biggest priority is your feeling. If you accepted and validate your own feelings you will be less overwhelmed and you can then handle a child much better. You may think that when this a toddler tantrum is happening, how can I think of myself? But addressing ones’ own emotional woes before helping anyone is one of the best methods of self-care; once you take care of yourself, you will be able to help your toddler in a better way! You don’t need like an hour to do this it’s just a matter of few seconds.

Let us break this down stepwise. So, you are in this scenario so what you need to now do is:

1) First and foremost, ensure your child’s safety. In any situation you make sure your child’s safety is not compromised. If you are sure he or she is safe then move on to next step.

2) Take a deep breathe. Experts say that when you breathe deep it pacifies your entire system and also gives you a moment to reflect within.

3) Do not rush to do anything, just slow down.

4) Don’t react with your own big major emotions. Sometimes it so happens that these situations may trigger us. So do not react before you have completely processed your own feelings.

5) Talk to yourself like you are talking to someone else. If you were to console someone, what would you say? Say those things like – what am I feeling? Angry, embarrassed, agitated? It’s okay! Validate your feelings! Tell yourself it’s okay to feel this way. Tell yourself it’s hard to handle but you can surely handle this!! Trust your instincts.

This entire process may take a few moments but you will be able to handle the situation without being affected. Also, when in such moments you scare the child or scold them you are in a way telling them to suppress their own emotions and that’s very harmful in the long run because eventually they will never be able to connect to how they are exactly feeling.

This technique will also help you to assist and mould your child much better and in a way you expected them to be. They will be able to trust you when you validate their feelings.

No one excels at these things in the first go, everyone requires practice but most important is are you ready to put this in practice and help your child become emotionally sounder and saner?