Just when you thought you had left the dreaded t-word—TANTRUMS—behind, your school-age kid starts to act up, act out and act in every which way to make you crazy. Yes, even though your big kid is not a toddler anymore, it's not uncommon to deal with meltdowns. So here are a few tips to deal with them:Go to the source. Try to uncover the cause of your kid's tantrums. When does he start to lose control? Is it when he's tired, bored, hungry, or is something else causing him to stress? Sometimes when you understand where he's coming from, you can prevent the triggers and the tantrums.
Stop it before it starts If you know your kid's triggers and see that he's on the verge of losing control, act quickly to calm him down or encourage him to focus his attention elsewhere. You don't want to wait until after the tantrum train has left the station.
Keep your cool. Easy for us to say "don't stress," but it's important to stay calm and in control to show your kid you can manage your stress. Remember kid's pick up emotional cues from us.
Practice your poker face. Try not to react to your kid's tantrum and reward his acting out with your attention. If he gets a rise out of you every time he loses control, he's got the upper hand.
Make an honest assessment Do your kid's tantrums come and go, or are they more chronic? Do they happen frequently both at home and outside the home? Do they escalate to the point of aggression toward other people and destruction of property? If you are concerned, seek professional help to cope with your child's behavior.
Hang in there! All kids go through ups and downs, and you're not alone in dealing with tantrums. Try to be patient, focus on the positive and enjoy the ride.
on Oct. 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM