Finally! The tantrum is over. You’ve weathered the storm, and come out the other side intact.
What should you do next? Do you pretend the tantrum never happened? Do you talk about it?
Lucikly, we have some tips for parents on just this subject.
What To Do When the Tantrum is Over
When a tantrum is in full swing, it’s not particularly helpful to speak to your child. They need to feel their big emotion and go through the stages of frustration or anger.
It’s important that you show them you are present for them during this time, but it’s not the time to try to talk about what they are feeling.
After the tantrum, there are a few steps you can take to help your child understand what they just experienced. Here’s Natalie Baginski:
“When the tears start to dry, the shoulders stop shaking and the energy shifts back to the rational, just go with the flow. Some children change the subject and start babbling about something else, as if the whole incident never happened. Others want you to show you understand and need you to wrap it up for them:
1. “Wow, you were really upset! It looks like you feel better. Would you like to go back now?”
2. “Would you like to cuddle a little before we go back into the restaurant?”
3. “When your friend took your train, you got really mad. But now it’s over. Are you ready to play trains again?” (read full article here)
If your child bounces back to normal, that’s great! That’s one benefit of being a toddler: you leave all of the anger and tears behind you.
If you’d like to speak about what your child was feeling, or what led to that emotion, try doing so in a non-judgmental way. Observe, “X happened, and that made you feel Y.”
After the tantrum is also a time to speak about coping mechanisms for big emotions. Try saying, “When I feel mad, I take deep breaths to stay calm.” or “Next time you get really frustrated, you can try taking a break in your quiet reading corner.”
By providing a supportive environment for your child to feel their big emotions, they will be better able to cope with feelings in the long-run. Patience and practice can lead to a child with self-regulation skills that will help them throughout their entire life!
Recommended for you: