Today we are talking about before the blow-ups (that lull before the storm – other known as a temper tantrum). Children and adults who tend to express themselves dramatically, who tend to yell, throw temper tantrums, or explode are often times people who are highly intense with regard to temperament. For these individuals, learning and teaching them how to avoid the blow-up or the storm, is the best way to avoid the situation in the first place. According to Mary Sheedy-Kurcinka, author of Raising Your Spirited Child, most people will show signs that the internal storm is brewing or intensity is increasing.
These signs include getting louder, making jerky movements, complaining about noise, stomping, whining, running away, growling, breathing faster, developing poor listening skills, swearing, using a nasty tone of voice, acting irritable, wanting to be held, name calling, getting grumpy, getting confrontational, feeling cling, acting frustrated, throwing things, becoming wild or overly silly, becoming quiet, hitting, turning flush in the face, becoming indecisive, becoming more sensitive or becoming bossy.
Caregivers can help children to notice their own signs when they’re getting frustrated. Parents and caregivers should also pay close attention to what and when the child reacts to something. If you’re unsure what signs your child shows before they have a tantrum, consider videotaping your child (for yourself) so that you can actually watch the signs in action. But, once you see the signs for a tantrum, how to aviod a temper tantrum? Sheedy-Kurcinka suggests several strategies to help avoid the storm. Check out her five tips and strategies to avoid temper tantrums below!
- Exercise – including riding bikes, climbing, dancing, tumbling, walking, running, obstacle courses, playing ball, rollerblading, ice-skating, wall ball, tetherball, aerobics, weightlifting, organized sports, or martial arts.
2. Repetitive Motion – including sucking, singing, rocking, bike riding, drinking from a straw, chewing licorice or gum, rope-jumping, trampoline jumping, walking, or talking to a friend.
3. Deep Breathing – including blowing bubbles, yoga, counting to ten, or taking deep breathes before responding.
4. Humor – tickling, doing funny faces, making silly noises, playing with puppets, giving unexpected reactions, telling jokes, and being playful.
5. Distraction – all of the above strategies can be realted back to distraction – changing the activity, going outside, hugging, singing, dancing, getting a massage, listening to music, playing with water or sand, playing with dolls or stuffed animals whistling, playing an instrument, watching funny home videos, working on a hobby, cleaning, knitting, reading, or any arts or crafts.
Which of these calming strategies have you tried before and which ones will you try for the first time? We’d love to hear your thoughts and connect on social media. Find We Are Coaches on Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest.