Tantrums come in many forms and variations. Some I consider to be Reaction Tantrums and need to be prevented. Some are Processing Tantrums and are useful to our brains once the entire tantrum is completed – these lead to added maturity and understanding about the realities of life.
However, we don’t need to have many Processing Tantrums to gain the positive benefits they provide. We also don’t want to be constantly helping our children through them – it’s exhausting and time consuming, wearying and out right unpleasant to do so.
One gem of a strategy to avoid many Processing Tantrums, I stumbled across somewhere is that of Closed Options.
A situation might go like this:
Mum: “Please put on your sweatshirt.”
Child: “No. I don’t want to.”
Mum: “Would you like your red sweatshirt or your blue sweatshirt?” Holds them both close, but not intrusively close, to the child so the child can seem them clearly.
Child:”Blue!” And complies.
This can work for many situations and ages but works best with preschoolers, especially those during the stroppy years of (approx.) 3.5 to 4.5. The key is that the adult focusses on the big outcome – getting in the car; wearing a sweatshirt; healthy drink option; eating the vegetables; etc. The child gets to make the minor decision: which door of the car to climb in; which sweatshirt to wear; water or milk as drink options; round carrot slices or long carrot slices; etc.
This is one of 99 strategies that will be included in my next book. For now, you could pop on over and buy my latest one: All About Tantrums – Why we have them, How to prevent them, What to do when they happen. There’s the link riiiiiiiiight there: https://www.createspace.com/3893965