This Page

has been moved to new address

after the storm: 9 do’s and don’ts of post-tantrum follow-up

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
the mommyhood memos: after the storm: 9 do’s and don’ts of post-tantrum follow-up

Saturday, March 26, 2011

after the storm: 9 do’s and don’ts of post-tantrum follow-up

The storm—I mean tantrum—has ceased. The calm has returned. Now... what to do?

Here are some key do's and don'ts in following-up a toddler meltdown:

1.     DO give affirmation for a change of behavior and reinforce your expectations. Example: “Thank you for settling down Levi. I can hear you much better now that you are calm.”

2.     DO give your child validation. Help him identify/name his emotions, but make it clear that it’s not an excuse for poor behavior: “I know you were frustrated because the puzzle is hard, but it’s not okay to throw the pieces. How about mommy helps you next time?” Or “I know you felt angry, but hitting is not okay. It hurts mommy when you hit me.” (Sometimes this is also possible to do during a mild or medium tantrum if they haven’t reached full meltdown yet.)

3.     DON’T hesitate to ask for forgiveness. If you lost your cool and reacted inappropriately, tell your child what you did wrong and ask her for forgiveness. Even if she doesn’t fully understand what you are doing, she will eventually. (This process is just as important for you as it is for your child.) Example: “Mommy should not have yelled at you. That was unkind. I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?” Then make yourself accountable and share what happened with another adult – tell your husband/partner or mom or friend what you did and ask for their help as you commit to responding better next time. (If reacting inappropriately is a recurring problem, then you should seek the advice of a professional.)

4.     DON’T take it personally. Your young child’s misbehaving should not be taken personally. He doesn't love you any less and, although it sometimes feels like it, he doesn't actually mean to make you feel disrespected when he throws fits.

5.     DON’T hold it against your child. Remember that she is constantly learning new skills and new ways to cope with her changing body, emotions, and surroundings. She is not “bad” or “unruly” or “difficult", she just need lots of practice.

6.     DON’T feel like you’ve failed when it happens again. Even if you do everything “right” in responding to your child’s tantrum, it doesn’t mean it will be his last one. Don’t be discouraged when you have to face the same scenario a second time. And a third. And a twelfth.

7.     DON’T compare your child to other children. Sure, the child down the street always seems to behave perfectly, but don’t underestimate her potential when behind closed doors! Kids are kids and they all need to learn how to manage their emotions and their growing sense of independence. (Keep in mind also that different temperaments can also contribute to more or less tantrums. Again, not a bad thing but something to keep in mind when you need more patience with your own child!)

8.     DON’T get sucked into feelings of false guilt. It’s tempting to think things like, “If I were a better mom my child would be better behaved.” But the reality is that even the best of parents have children that sometimes misbehave. Learning good behavior is a process, it is not inborn within our sweet little cherubs!

9.     DO take heart that your consistency will eventually pay off. When you are in the heat of the moment (and perhaps have had a long or tiring day yourself) it can be easy to think that you’ll never be able to cope with another tantrum. (I've been there!) But you will. And not only will you be able to cope, you will get to the place where your child eventually learns to both manage his emotions and hold himself together behaviorally.

This post is part of a four part series:
3.  In the midst of the storm: 7 methods of coping with tantrums
4.  The aftermath of the storm: 9 do’s and don’ts of post-tantrum follow-up 

Dear friends, I hope this series on tackling toddler tantrums been helpful. Have you learned anything new or is there anything you'd like to add to the overall subject? Or how about specifically in regards to the follow-up process?

growing into motherhood one day at a time,

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011 
do not reproduce without written permission

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At March 27, 2011 at 2:23 AM , Blogger Getrealmommy said...

Good post. I have to say though, when the tantrums are thrown by a five year old screaming "I hate you mommy!" it is so hard not to take it personally, even though I know I shouldn't....

At March 27, 2011 at 5:16 AM , Blogger Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) said...

Great series on tantrums Adriel! I love the don't take it personally. Most of all, I love how this is all handled with love but also with consistency. :)

At March 27, 2011 at 3:44 PM , Blogger A Little R&R said...

Great series and a great post to end on. I really enjoyed this - and even shared it with my sister yesterday. Thanks so much!

At March 27, 2011 at 8:46 PM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

Rachel, I would certainly have a hard time not taking that personally as well. I hope he stops saying that soon. That IS hurtful :( and yet it doesn't mean it's a reflection of you as a mom!!

At March 28, 2011 at 12:17 AM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

My little 12 month old is starting to fling back and throw her little tantrums when she doesn't get her way. I think it's high time I start reading some parenting books for a change;0. lol. This was great Adriel! Love your blog. Did you recently change up the header or layout? well, I like it;0

At March 29, 2011 at 1:26 AM , Blogger Cari said...

Adriel, great series. You inspired me to write a post about giving other parents encouragement when they are knee deep in the midst of a tantrum. I linked back to your series! Thanks!

At March 30, 2011 at 7:10 AM , Blogger Lindsey said...

Thanks for this post. I was going to link to it from my site, but can't find a specific post address. Can you pass it on? Thanks!


Post a Comment

dear friends... i really love and appreciate your comments. thanks so much for taking the time to add your thoughts and opinions.

PLEASE NOTE: if you do not have your blogger account set up with a reply-to email address, i am unable to respond to your comments... and that just makes me sad. boo!

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home