These are my favorites, what are yours?
- Walk away. Misery loves company. Have you ever seen this video? It’ll make you a believer.
- The nose squeeze. I wish I’d learned this one earlier. Just pinch that cute little nose while he’s crying. It’ll change the timber of his voice and make him giggle.
- Distraction. I’m not talking about the overbearing mommy distraction of “C’mon, let’s play trucks! No? Ok. Let’s play ring-around-the-rosie! No? Ok. Let’s …” I’m saying find something of greater love than what she’s crying about. “Hey! Is that your lovey under the chair?” or “Isn’t it snack time? Let’s eat!” You know what makes your kid tick. You know what she’ll drop everything to do. Use that when the tantrums start.
- Shake out the crabbies. Pick up your crying / mad / devastated / manipulative little one, hold him upside down, and (very) gentle shake him, all the while telling him that the crabbies have to be shaken out till he’s in a better mood. The pure silliness of it is irresistible!
- Use her medicine against her. I’ll have my own mini-temper tantrum when they’re just starting theirs. They see how silly it is, and it diffuses the emotions. I’ve also video taped it with the camcorder (or the new iPod Nano I gave hubbs for Christmas). I’ll show it to them later once the tantrum is over – they realize it didn’t work (they didn’t get what they wanted) and it isn’t very attractive.
- Use social norms. I’ve only used this with Bean since she’s been in kindergarten. When she starts crying over nothing I ask her if she would cry like that in front of her friends at school, inserting a few names. She invariably says no, and I remind her that if it’s not worth her tears at school, it’s not worth her tears at home either.
So, that’s what I’ve got. What’s in your toolbox to fight tantrums?