Kindness is a wonderful thing. Surprising your child with a new book, fresh whipped cream atop their favorite fruits or letting them stay awake to talk with you for an extra ten minutes, whatever kind act it may be, children thrive on love and kindness. What about when your child is having a tantrum? Did you know that love and kindness during a tantrum is often just what a child needs most?
Walking away, yelling, mocking, shaming, isolating are all ways that can aggravate and upset a child when they are already hurting and feeling mad. Here are 10 ways you can show kindness to a child during a tantrum:
1. Offer you child a hug: Touch is a wonderful way to connect with an upset child.
2. Tell your child you care about them: Offering sincere love can be very reassuring to an upset child “I love you. I can see you are very upset.”
3. Offer your child a helping hand: Asking your child if you can help them with whatever is frustrating them can help ease the tantrum.
4. Hold your child close: Often the anger and rage of a small child is feeling is expressed physically, holding your child close can help them re-center their feelings and process their hurt.
6. Validate your child’s feelings: Allowing your child to feel their feelings is very important, it is kind and calming to say something like: “I can see you seem so very mad right now.”
7. Offer alternative outlets: With big emotions sometimes comes the need to punch pillows, thrash around a bed or on the floor or stomp feet. Giving your children healthy outlets for their anger is not only kind but smart.
8. Stay face-to-face: Instead of ignoring or walking away from a tantruming child, try to establish face-to-face contact. Giving your child eye contact and a loving smile can help them sense your kindness and intention to help.
9. Try to find a solution: After reconnecting with your child with a hug or eye contact, try to give them what they need. If your child really just couldn’t express their need without some help and became frustrated, by meeting their need you are not being manipulated or tricked, rather you are helping your child and being kind.
10. Say kind words: Telling your child you love them and that you want to understand or help them is a nice way to re-center, find a positive mindset and help both of you move on.
What ways do you show kindness to your child during a tantrum?