You’re seconds away from declaring your grocery run with your 5-year-old a success when they start screaming. They beg for a candy bar and flail their arms in protest when you say no. What now? It all depends on how you respond to your 5-year-old’s temper tantrum. Here are four tips for responding well:
One, don’t give in. You might be tempted to give in and allow your son or daughter a candy bar but doing so will only encourage more tantrums. Don’t reward bad behavior.
Two, speak calmly. You might also feel tempted to yell at or scold your child but speak calmly instead. Tell them that when they settle down, you can talk about the situation.
Three, validate feelings. When your child calms down and you’re able to talk, explain that you understand they are upset. Communicate that their emotions are valid, but they aren’t expressing them in the right way.
Four, acknowledge good behavior. When you notice that your child isn’t having a temper tantrum when you would expect them to, praise them for that. This will enforce their good behavior and prevent more temper tantrums in the future.