a charity supporting parents & carers of challenging children

HELPP Help Education and Learning for Parents by Parents accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided in this web-site. We are not medical professionals and we are not giving any medical or professional advice or service through the publication or distribution of articles or comments on this web-site. Individuals with suspected or diagnosed disorders or syndromes, or any conditions discussed on this web-site should consult with a qualified professional for advice concerning diagnosis and treatment. HELPP is a Registered Charity, No: 1139691. HELPP is a Private Limited Company, No: 7434496. Copyright 2014 KieronDSmith all rights reserved.  Revised: 29 October 2014  


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Tips for parents - Dealing with tantrums

Plan ahead.

Keeping an eye on your child’s frustration levels means you can often step in before they go over the top .

Let them help you with the shopping by having their own small shopping list of stuff that they must look for in the shop 

Have clear routines to your child’s day

Have regular times for lunch, nap, bath and bed and remind your child what’s going to happen 

......“George, it’s nearly bedtime, you have 5 more minutes to play.”

Provide your child with opportunities to let off steam every day

Running around outside or at the park. Dancing to music.

Try distracting your child

“Ice cream, sounds nice, but we need to eat our lunch first. Did you know that carrots help you to see in the dark?

Eat them up and then we will go hide under the duvet and see if it works.”

Always remind your child that tantrums get nothing and stick to this even in public

It may be embarrassing but if you give in, they will only act up again. 

Use positive parenting.

Plenty of praise and attention for the behaviours you do want. Ignore the behaviours you don’t want. Avoid harsh discipline

Shouting and punishments only make tantrums worse.

If a tantrum does occur

Stay clam and quiet. Leave the room if it is safe to do so.

Ask your child to tell you when the tantrum is over.

When it is, give them a big hug.

When you need to make a stand

Ask yourself if what you are about to say or do could make your child feel bad inside. 

When we are angry, we can say things that hurt. 

If we tell our children they are useless, stupid, lazy, a liar or a thief, they may grow to believe it. 

Try to avoid shouting and smacking.

Children tend to copy us and we could end up with loud, aggressive children. 

Explain the reasons why you need to make a stand and try to start with the smallest punishments. You can always make them bigger. 

Don't give your child a punishment that you can not carry out as you will be teaching them that you don’t mean what you say. 

Try to turn a moan into a helpful remark.

...."I am really surprised that a kind boy like you could do a thing like that." 

Try writing a consequence on a piece of paper

This gives your child an idea on how to make things right. 

"Because you came in late you will go to bed 15 minutes early." 

"I will rip this up if you water the plants or sweep the hall." 

Praise the behaviour that you like.

.......Surprisingly, it works better than scolding the behaviour you don’t like.