Stop Tantrums Fast with These 3 Simple Tips!
Parents of little ones are no strangers to drama!
We often feel like we’re drowning in drama, as a matter of fact!
As a mama to 4 littles, you can bet we have our share of tears and tantrums in the Rosno household (and occasionally they’re not mine)!
The wailing. . . the whining. . . the screaming. . . the flopping is anything but pleasant. Sometimes it’s downright maddening! Am I right?
Whether it’s the wrong colored plate, the pants that make their underwear feel funny, the screen time moratorium, or the “it was MY turn to go first” – there’s a tantrum lurking around every corner leading moms everywhere to seek safety and comfort devouring chocolate in their bathroom sanctuary!
What if I told you there are a few tricks to diffusing those tantrums in a flash? And maybe, dare I say, stop them before they start!
Feelings are overwhelming when you’re 3 (or 13 or 30!). And tantrums are often nothing more than an attempt to communicate those big feelings!
So today I bring you 3 tips to keep tantrums at bay:
The secret is letting your beautiful, spirited little one feel like you “get it”- that you feel their pain, and understand what they’re going through!
How much better would we feel if someone could do this for us too?!
When we’re able to step outside of the llama drama (or sometimes mama drama), we can give our kiddos just what they need – empathy! Now let me show you how!
Little Tommy: I want Kool-aid for breakfaaaasst!!!
Old way: No, we don’t drink Kool-aid for breakfast. Please stop yelling or you’ll have a consequence.
New way: Aw Man, Kool-aid is so tasty and you really want to have some! You’re feeling sad about that, aren’t you?
Tommy will likely feel much better and see you as an advocate rather than a mean enforcer!
Let’s try another example.
Sweet Sarah (who needs to get ready for church): I’m not going!! I HATE church!!
Old way: Sarah, I don’t care if you like it or not! You’re going! Now get dressed!
New way: You really wish we didn’t have to go to church today, don’t you? I bet you’d like to stay in your jammies and watch TV this morning! What do you say we put our jammies back on after church and watch that show you like? Now, let me help you pick out some clothes to wear.
Even just reading the old and new responses, you can feel the difference! It’s diffusing the situation instead creating a power struggle! Understanding rather than scolding!
2. Quickly Activate Calming Mechanisms in the Brain
Now for a little of the science behind those crazy tantrums! The emotional center of our brain is the limbic system. When that tantrum switch gets flipped, the brain bypasses that all-important reasoning, rational part of the brain and goes directly to the limbic system!
So as you’ve probably learned, reasoning with a tantruming 2 year old is useless!
Don’t be discouraged though!
Do you know what else goes straight to the Limbic System? The olfactory nerve! That’s right, the nerve related to our sense of smell!
The aromatic compounds known as essential oils interact with those smell receptors of the olfactory nerve and take a fast track to the limbic system!
Choosing an oil or blend with calming properties can indeed cause the brain to activate calming mechanisms with just a sniff!
So when your little ones (or you) are in need of a serious chill pill – reach for a calming essential oil such as Lavender, Grounding Blend, Frankincense, Cedarwood, or the Reassuring Blend.
If you’re interested in learning more about the essential oils I trust with my family and recommend to my clients, click here!
Last but definitely not least, a little prayer can go a long ways in these moments! I find myself relying on supernatural assistance on a daily basis to stay on (or get back on) the right track!
Sometimes a quick prayer can keep you focused on the end goal – training your children so that they may be with Jesus in Heaven someday! And sometimes praying out loud is just enough to interrupt your kids, leaving them wondering what you’re up to! Or maybe you just need to step away yourself, say a quiet prayer, and regroup so you can bring your best self back to the situation.
Dearest Jesus, guide my heart to see my child as you do, to love him as you do, and to instruct him in your ways. Help me to follow in the steps of your own mother, Mary, as I grow in patience and love. Amen.