What Specific Sounds Are More Difficult For 4-Year-Olds To Produce 6 Helpful Ways To Manage Your Child’s Mini Tantrums

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6 Helpful Ways To Manage Your Child’s Mini Tantrums

Does this sound familiar? My client wrote to me with the following question:

“My 4-year-old daughter seems to fly off the handle and gets angry for no reason. For example, this morning, she woke up cheerfully, got dressed, brushed her teeth and washed without a problem. At breakfast, out of nowhere, she starts yelling at her brother to stop to look at her. My son told her to just close her eyes and not look at him. This made her even more mad and she sat under the table crying and crying for about 5 minutes. She then got out from under the table and ate her breakfast like nothing happened. This happens all the time. She’s sweet and cuddly and warm and then boom she explodes without warning and then she’s quiet again. What’s going on and how can I stop her from behaving this way?”

Does this ever happen to you?

Here are 6 Ways to Help You Manage Your Child’s Mini Tantrums:

1. Look for Patterns in Behavior:

Some children are temperamentally sensitive and we don’t know what sets them off. I would still try to find a pattern to her behavior. Does she behave this way more when she wakes up, when she leaves for school, when she is in a hurry, during the evening, or when you are taking care of the other children? Finding the source can help you manage or eliminate the cause of her mini-collapses. You will be less likely to be caught off guard and better equipped to deal with them.

For example, if you know that breakfast is a difficult time for her, you can have her eat in front of all her siblings or move the seats so that they sit far apart from each other.

Learning to work around her most difficult times will help relieve some of the tension you are both experiencing.

2. You Can Only Control Your Behavior:

It is helpful to remember that it is normal for all children to cry, cry and throw tantrums and rages at their siblings. We cannot completely stop this type of behavior. Getting along with others within the family is a lifelong pursuit. Everyone, including adults, moans, cries, sulks and misbehaves. It’s just part of life. Managing our family’s bad tempers, including our own, is only part of the job description under the title of Mom. Don’t fight it. How you react sets the stage for how your child will manage her moods and conflicts later in life. In other words, focus more on how you respond to her so that you model appropriate behavior instead of trying to change her behavior. Instead of telling yourself, “I need to get her to stop acting this way, she’s always misbehaving.” Say, “She needs help managing her raw feelings, if I can find a way to deal with this annoying behavior in a kind way, she will learn to be kind to others and learn how to control herself better in the future.” A wise person once told me, “You can’t change people’s behaviors but you do have control over how you react to them.” That’s the secret to great parenting.

3. Find Her A Safe Place:

If she makes you mad, you have the right to say:

“If you need to cry, whine or complain please find another place to do it”
“Do you want me to take you to your room to finish crying or do you want to go yourself?”
“Which private place do you want to go to finish your crying, your bedroom or the bathroom?”

4. Empathy, Empathy, Empathy:

When children hear empathy, it calms them and helps them manage their difficult feelings.
You can say:

“Something makes you so sad and tearful, I wish I knew what it is. You don’t seem to be able to tell me now.”

“Sometimes just having someone look at you can upset you. It can make you sit under the table until you get your act together. It can upset you even if the person looking at you may not have meant to hurt your feelings or bother you.”

5. Help Her Take Responsibility For Her Behavior:

When you are calm and she is calm, talk to her. Encourage her to think about how she could improve her behavior. Here are some suggestions:

“You know this morning you were very upset about Jonny looking at you and you complained and whined about it. Can you think of another way you could have reacted? Is there anything I can do next time to help you deal with a situation like that?”

“When you feel all crappy inside, is there a way you can get all your bad feelings out without crying and complaining? Sometimes all the noise you make when you’re sad or angry can hurt my ears and make me cry!”

She may not answer or be able to come up with some solutions. The purpose of problem solving at such a young age is to plant the seeds in her head that she is responsible for her own behavior. You send her the message, “You can control your behavior and as your parent I am ready to help you.”

6. Parenting With A Glass Half Full Mindset:

Another trick to parent effectively is to focus on any positive behavior your child exhibits. In this particular case, I would venture to say that the fact that she can calm herself after about 5 minutes is a big plus. It seems as if she doesn’t hold a grudge or engage in negative behavior for a long time. You can praise her for that.

“You know what sometimes upsets you and makes you mad. You can scream and complain but you know ways to calm yourself down. Once you calm down, you’re happy again. That’s a very good way to be.”

You can also notice and praise her for the times when her siblings bother her and she doesn’t get upset.

“Jonny wanted the toy you played with, you gave it to him and found another toy to play with. That’s called being kind.”

Mini tantrums can be just as draining as the big ones. The tactics mentioned above should help you get some relief and help your child move through her difficult moods more easily.

Hope this helped.
good luck,
Adina

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