I really wish the Bible had a verse that we can go to that will give us the answer to Taming our Child’s Tantrums.
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of wisdom that addresses that topic specifically. But in the book of Proverbs there is a small bit of wisdom that might encourage you today to respond to your child’s tantrum in a healthy way.
Proverbs 15:1 says “A soft word tuns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath”
So how do we offer “soft words” to our child when they are throwing a tantrum?
Here are 3 approaches you can try:
First of all- Try to determine what kind of tantrum it is. Is your child overwhelmed, exhausted, hungry or is there some specific cause to the tantrum that you can address? Or is the tantrum an attempt to manipulate you so the child can get what they want?
If your child is genuinely overwhelmed, it’s time to offer them comfort. Give them a hug, sip of water, or maybe a tissue. Just make sure to calmly communicate to them that you are their to offer them help for whatever is overwhelming them.
If your child’s trying to manipulate with their tantrum, you might try a different approach. One way to identify these tantrums is that they involve less tears and more of a demand that you give your child something they want.
One way to respond to this kind of tantrum is to refuse to react to it. Just wait for them to finish and then move on to the next activity. If your child is able to get a reaction from you, then it will encourage future tantrums.
Children have different temperaments, and the kids who tend to be more intense, are more likely to have tantrums.
A parents response to tantrums has a big impact on whether they continue. If you pay attention to tantrums, they are going to happen more often.
Second- Try to stay as calm as humanly possible. If you get angry in response to tantrums, they’re going to escalate.
Try spending less time attempting to talk your child out of their tantrum, and more time talking yourself through staying calm during it.
This is where you might whisper a quick prayer. Something like, “God please help me stay calm in this moment.”
Third- Be consistent and patient. These are two amazing ingredients in just about any parenting situation, but especially when it comes to tantrums. Your child will test you with tantrums, but eventually your consistency and patience will show them that tantrums will not get them what they want.
I don’t know that we ever grow out of having tantrums. We sometimes can still throw tantrums as adults.
But if you stick with it, your child will learn a healthy way to ask for what they want, and you will be glad that you made the effort to Tame those Tantrums.