Friday, March 13, 2009

The cure for tantrums

From TODAY, Voices
Wednesday, 11-March-2009

By Dr Bill Maier

Ever seen a toddler throw a temper tantrum in the middle of a grocery store? It usually makes their parents feel like crawling under a rock.

Tantrums usually start around the age of one or two and just about every toddler will throw one in public eventually.

How we react as parents makes all the difference in whether or not it becomes a habit.

It’s natural for kids to defy their parents. When they want a toy or candy and we say no, they may scream or fall on the floor in order to get their way.

The best medicine is to ignore it – even though it may be embarrassing for you.

Don’t make eye contact or give in, simply keep on shopping. When your child calms himself, praise his improved behaviour.

And then redirect his attention to something else.

Research shows that any kind of attention during a tantrum is actually reinforcing it. It’s good behaviour we want to reward, not the bad.
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