Ah yes...the joy of parenting!! Our kids are THE BEST thing that has ever happened to us! However, with all the joy that parenting brings, there are unfortunately some not-so-wonderful moments too...and they would be called TEMPER TANTRUMS!
A temper tantrum is a normal outlet for a child to express their emotions. Sometimes they feel sad, or confused, or frustrated and the only way they know how to express these new emotions they are discovering, is through a tantrum. As adults, it's important for us to try to determine the real reason behind the action and handle it appropriately. Sometimes a hug, and a listening ear is all a child needs to calm them down. However, there are times when a temper tantrum happens simply because of a challenging attitude and a power struggle between a child and an adult. Whether it's a mild meltdown or a massive emotional explosion, a child’s angry temper tantrum can stress adults to their own breaking point! Often, once a tantrum begins, it can cause a chain reaction, resulting in an adult having their own grownup temper tantrum. Or it can turn into a feeling of powerless submissiveness with the adult in the unfortunate position of begging them or bribing them to stop. Both reactions have very negative long-term effects.
When you address a child’s tantrum with your own angry reaction, you are actually teaching them that it's okay to have the temper tantrum. That the anger is a resolution. When you beg them to stop, usually bribing them into better behavior, again...you are teaching that they can get what they want by having a tantrum. Neither way is going to solve the problem and in fact will only exasperate it further which in turn becomes apparent as they grow into adulthood and continue the same toxic cycle. It is poor teaching at a young age and ensures a difficult future for them to deal with issue resolution.
The KEY to a peaceful resolution and teaching of the same, is to maintain your own cool head without losing your position as the Alpha Parent when handling the behavior of your Alpha-wannabe child. Now, here is the big challenge...HOW DO YOU DO THIS?
One of the better and proven methods, is to involve them in the consequences of their own actions. They need to understand that their negative action will bring about a negative result. This doesn't necessarily mean that if they throw something at you, that you throw something back at them! The eye-for-an-eye method is not as effective as some wish to believe! However, it is very important for them to have a cognizance of their actions and for that to be relayed to them in a firm but respectful way and usually at the core of a temper tantrum is a power struggle so it’s actually very effective to give them “the power” in a strategic way! When you give a child the power of choice, the result is almost magical! Except when it comes out of your mouth and they only get 2 choices…stop the tantrum or else. But, what if you give them 18 choices to choose from? Whether there are 18 consequences or 18 rewards, once you hand them the opportunity to choose from those odds, the result you will have is completely astoundingly wonderful!
Just to make parenting easier, The Red Card Blue Card Game (www.redcardbluecardgame.com) has done the research and testing and has put together a fun, easy and already done-for-you menu of choices in a simple-to-use card format. Lovingly known as the “Keep-Your-Cool Golden Rule Tool”, this game is a fabulous solution to the age-old problem of temper tantrums as it allows you to assert your parental authority in a firm manner, without yelling, hitting, bribing, begging or making idle threats. If a child is misbehaving, or in need of behavior correction, then they simply are advised that they have earned a Red Card for their action. Once they are “Red-Carded” then they must choose from the pile of downward facing Red Cards (consequence cards) and the consequence is then followed through on. No one wants to have to choose their own consequence! This involvement of them in having to be a part of the process is HIGHLY EFFECTIVE and once they get a Red Card or two, all it takes is telling them...that if their tantrum or behavior doesn't stop, then they will earn themselves a Red Card. Of course, with good behavior they can also earn a Blue Card, which is a very empowering incentive that a child wants to get so between wanting to avoid the Red Cards and wanting to earn the Blue Cards, you have the best solution you could ever hope for in dealing with behavioral challenges!
Trust me folks, THIS WORKS and FAST! And it's a peaceful resolution tool and teaching tool all rolled into one! And it’s FUN to PLAY! Kids actually really like this system! Available in either a printed card format or as a downloadable App, you can find it at www.redcardbluecardgame.com. Finally, a real tangible solution to eliminate angry tantrums in both children and adults! Play The Red Card Blue Card Game and the tantrum battle will never be the same!