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Effective Techniques To Handle Your Kid’s Temper Tantrum


11 Comments
Just finished reading Jay Heinrichs’ book  Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion (thank you, J.D.). What I love about this book is it offers down to earth practical content and the writing style is humorous and enjoyable. Heinrichs provides practical advice on how to effectively persuade in image
by tacit requiem

seemingly every life situation. One of my favorite takeaways from the book is about handling kids temper tantrum.


The following excerpt from the book should resonate with any parent:

…three year-old daughter chose to throw a temper tantrum writhing on the floor…I forget what triggered the outburst… but I gave her I disappointed look and said. “That argument won’t work, sweetheart. It isn’t pathetic enough”.
   She blinked a couple of times and picked herself off the floor.

Treat Your Kid As An Adult

The most common response to temper tantrum situations is preaching, kind of “You embarrass me…”, “Stop immediately, else!…”, “You behave in very inappropriate way…”, “When I was in your age…”. I am no different and I commit similar crimes – preaching. It rarely works. So I decided to practice what Heinrichs preaches (LOL).

The other day when my kid started her thing on the floor I gave her scientific explanation about the complexity of computer systems. I have done it in very calm way showing that her tricks do not affect me in any way. She was completely confused, what’s sure she understood it did not work for her. More over, she was interested since she heard new words. Some of them sounded funny so that she even smiled.

It worked for my 4-year-old daughter. It might work for your kid too.

Practice This – Get Results

  • Practice Emotional Intelligence – Park
  • Do not preach – it only shows your kid she succeeds with her temper tantrum.
  • Remove the focus form the “situation” – get your kid confused, get her interested in something else.
  • Drive, do not be driven – your are in charge, not your kid.

My Related Posts

27 March 2009

11 Comments »

  • Mark Salinas said:

    Where was this when my kids were younger? :) Thanks for this I will give it a go! Enjoy the weekend!

  • Liara Covert said:

    Alik, love is always the ultimate answer. Each human being gains insight by tapping into knowledge at hand. Presence enables you to understand all behavior, the reaons behind it, and to see through it for what it is. It has been said that the only difference between a child and an adult is experience. To treat a child as a person makes loads of sense.

  • Melissa Donovan said:

    I’m not a parent but I have watched parents in situations like these and it’s so obvious from the look on the kids’ faces that the parents are just not connecting to their kids or successfully persuading them in any way. Too many people underestimate children, and speaking to them rationally (yes, almost as if they were adults) is sometimes the right approach. Plus, it makes kids feel good.

  • Giovanna Garcia said:

    Hi Alik

    This is awesome, my son is 14 months. He is right around the corner from the temper tantrum. Your post came to me at the right time :-) I will keep this in mind.
    Thanks,
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  • tom said:

    Preaching is got to be one of the biggest issues for parents, and this can be said about everyone else.

    But in terms of kids, lecturing them will not help, at least give them legitimate reasons and if you don’t have any, give the consequences because if you tell them they can’t do this or that, well they will go against it and do it.

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach said:

    I have a huuuuge aversion to temper tantrums and figured that by nipping it in the bud early on, my life would be easier as they grew up. I’ve found that dropping my voice quieter and quieter forced them to quiet themselves down in order to hear if I would give in or not!

    It’s been very effective these past 13 years.

  • alik levin (author) said:

    Mark,
    I can hear you ;), I wish I could know many more other things too long ago. Like valuing my own time and not wasting it for nothing ;).

    Liara,
    Right on! Love is the best kept secret to combat any aggression ;). Love disarms. In almost all cases ;)

    Melissa,
    I think you helped me to pick the right mantra for such situations. “Connecting” is the thing! There are plenty techniques, including the one i describe here. What needs to be in front of me is the simple questions “Am I connecting to my kid?”. Preaching seems to be least effective for connecting.

    Giovanna!
    Happy to hear it might be of use for you, tell me how it went with your son ;)

    tom,
    it works often – true, but sometimes kids are “stuck” so the best way (in my experience) is changing the situation – it might be the tone, the place, or other distraction. Preaching seems to be least effective if any…

    Barbara,
    Good point! Dropping my voice worked for me either. It makes the kid get quite in order to hear me. Drive vs be driven. Good stuff. ;)

  • Gennaro said:

    Love the approach. Had a laugh from it. Amazing the things that work with kids. Agree that the yelling or insulting approach isn’t the best road.

  • alik levin (author) said:

    Gennaro,
    Happy to hear you had a laugh ;)

  • J.D. Meier said:

    Good stuff.

    A little mental judo goes a long way.

  • alik levin (author) said:

    JD,
    So far I get only koka’s and my kids get waza-ari’s ;)
    But I am optimistic

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