Mine is 4. A tantrum results in two things: Definitely NOT getting whatever it is she wants (more often then not she gets the exact opposite) and some quiet alone time. The severity of the tantrum depends on if she gets sent to time out, to her room, or if I just get up and walk away.
Of course handling tantrums from a 6yo will be different from a 2yo. Either way the less attention they get the better, because what's the point if no one cares. And be consistent and firm... remember they can smell fear and will take full advantage of any tear in your mommy armour!
I always looked at them like, "Seriously?" and then walked away. They actually would follow me to throw the fit and I would walk away again. After a bit, they quit doing it because they realized fits do not get them the attention they are seeking. They are now 9 and 12, so we don't do fits anymore. We do sarcasm now. Joy. I ignore that too.
If your 6 year old has recently started throwing them, I would take a step back and ask what in your life has changed recently. Children's behavior is their way of expressing distress, sorrow, fear, or uncertainty. They tend to go back to immature behaviors when they are stressed over something. If you and your spouse have been fighting a lot, if you have recently moved, if they have lost a friend or a family member either through a move or death, etc. all of these things can trigger those kinds of negative behaviors.
At the bottom of the bad behavior is an effort by your child to fill a need and resolve a crisis. Try to figure out what the need or crisis is and help them to resolve it in a less negative manner.
It's to get your attention, ignore the fits and tell them you will talk to them about what is wrong when they've calmed down.
if they have a room or some type of room in the house start sending them to the room with nothing to do for a time out.. really have to put you foot down, and explain to those that are old enough to understand this behavior is simply not going to cut it.. however the 16 year old should be able to set some type of example for the younger ones... and the two year old is about the only one i would expect tantrums from because of her age.. however i am sure i do not have all the fact so therefore can only give some suggestion of what you can do...
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