For centuries, as long as there have been children, there have been temper tantrums.. Actually, as long as there have been adults there have been temper tantrums too..
But the hard part is what to do once it happens.. You can see it coming too. They ask for the toy and you say no. First, they get really sad when they don't get what they want. With some kids you might even get that lip quiver trying to make you feel badly. Then they might hold their breath. And when all else fails, they start crying loudly and falling to the floor wailing. Then, the last step is to go boneless. It's really quite simple and depending on the parent, effective in getting what they want.
Except when you know how to diffuse a tantrum. Knowledge is power. Every parent is afraid of that situation when you are in public, perhaps at a supermarket or department store and the tantrum starts.
I have to say I cannot take credit for this. My wife is the one who came up with it.
When you see the tantrum start, follow these 3 easy steps to diffusing most tantrums:
1. Tell the child they are doing it wrong.
Huh? What are you talking about? Just trust me. Clearly the child will stop to look inquisitively at the parent trying to figure what they mean. Don't they understand that I am trying to throw a tantrum here?
2. Tell them how to do it properly. Show him that it's stomp, stomp, arm, arm and not arm, arm, stomp, stomp.
You will have the most bewildered child in the world at this point. Is my adult human really trying to tell me how to properly perform a temper tantrum? I'm the temper tantrum master don't they know this?
And then, when you have them all sorts of confused, lay the big one on:
3. Then, you flop down on the floor and flail!
Seriously, just do it. Your child will think that this is so funny and the best thing ever. Don't get me wrong, they will throw the tantrum, but they'll be LAUGHING while they do it.
Not only did you just change your child from crying to laughing in a matter of a minute, you just diffused a potentially embarrassing situation (especially if you are in a public place) and you didn't lose your temper yelling at your child.
While I can't guarantee success, I can say you have a much better chance of making a bad situation into a funny one. It seems to work with a 100% success rate in our house.
And as you are leaving the store, be sure to bow to the rounds of applause from the other parents. You will have earned it.