Even Royals with toddlers experience tantrums from time to time—as darling little Princess Charlotte displayed on the tarmac this past summer. HRH Mum, holding Charlotte’s tiny hand, wanted her to ascend the steps onto the plane, and the Princess said, “No!” It doesn’t matter who you are, or how well-behaved your child usually is, tantrums can strike at anytime, anywhere, and it can feel like the whole world is watching.
The trick is to realize that your child's tantrum will most likely trigger you, and you'll be reactive. If you're ready to say goodbye to this pattern and create a new one of cooperation, here are three steps to help you handle a tantrum in the heat of the moment, give you more clarity and provide a quicker turn-around to a calmer child:
Take a moment and drop into your heart energy.
Remove the child from the place they're having a tantrum. Even if it's just in your home and not in public, take them to a different room. This gives them a disconnect from the tantrum.
For children five years old and up, ask them what's going on and give them an opportunity to explain what they're thinking and feeling.
Children often throw tantrums to get your attention. Ask yourself if your child has enough of your attention, or if they feel they need to throw a tantrum in order to get you to notice them.
Children (and adults!) often use emotion as a way to be heard if they feel they aren't being heard. Check in with yourself on these points to see if there's something you can do to make sure your child gets more of your attention.