A tantrum is essentially a loss of control. Remaining calm yourself is the best thing you can do - you're modelling control of your emotions. You are exactly right to ackowledge her feelings, but if she's throwing a fit because she wants something she can't have (for a legitimate reason), you have to let her get over it.<br><br>
We did a modified form of time-out. I'd say "It's OK for you to be upset about X; it's not OK for you to scream at the dinner table". I'd lead or carry my son to the nearest bedroom, and tell him he could stay there until he felt better, abd was ready to return to the table/family. There was NEVER a time limit - sometimes my sons would take a deep breath and follow me back out of the bedroom, which was fine. Sometimes he'd stay there for an hour.<br><br>
Once in the bedroom, I gave lots of choice: sit on the bed or on the chair? Lights on or off? Door open or closed? Mom stay with you or stay alone? I felt that giving those choices helped give him a feeling of control over his environment, which hopefully made it seem more possible to regain control of his emotions.<br><br>
If he chose to stay alone, I would check on him every few minutes, usually just to sit next to him, offer hugs, and not say anything - certainly NEVER to lecture. Eventually he would be ready to come out, and he would go about his business as usual, as if nothing had happened. Later we might talk about the issue, once everyone was calm.<br><br>
By the time my sons were 5 or 6, they rarely threw a tantrum. Learning how to calm themselves, and talk about what they wanted before blowing a gasket made them obselete - which isn't to say that they didn't still get upset about things, but they were better able to deal with it.<br><br>
Sometimes I'd joke around with them, if the issue was something they had asked for and I said no (for a very good reason - I am not above negotiation, but that can only happen calmly - before a tantrum starts). I'd say something like "Do you think if you yell and scream loud enough, I'll change my mind? Come on, give it a try!" I'd egg them on to cry louder and harder, then I'd put on a thoughtful pose and say "Hmmm, let's see.... Nope, it didn't work." Of course the timing had to be right for that to work! And that only works if you are consistent about No meaning No - my kids understood that fits NEVER worked, under any circumstances.
It depends on the kid. Each of my kids needs different handling.<br><br>
For most tantrums:<br><br>
With DD1, I usually just sit quietly nearby, get busy doing something, and wait. Like I'll sit and fold laundry or read the newspaper or something, so she knows I'm there, but basically pay her no attention. I've found, with her, that anything I say or do just infuriates her, and that it's best to just sit and let her tantrum wash over me-- DH refers to "waves breaking against a mountain." She just needs me to be calm, be strong, and give her the time to pull herself together.<br><br>
(Some of her tantrums are just starting to get into the realm of manipulative, too, where I can see her watching me the whole time waiting for me to be worn down enough to give her what she wants. That comes because my DH often allows her to wear him down, and gives in because he's tired of listening to her, and she tries it out on me occasionally. Those tantrums, I usually walk out of the room. )<br><br>
With DS, he desperately needs PHYSICAL comfort in order to calm himself. He can't nurse anymore, even though that's what he really needs, so what I have to do is hold him really tightly against my shoulder even when he's fighting and flailing, and pat his back and cluck and shush in his ear like you do with a tiny baby. Words are lost on him, in those moments, so I don't even bother talking beyond "sweet nothings".<br><br>
DD2 needs to feel understood, to stop tantruming. I have to make it clear to her that I understand what she wants, and understand how she feels. So like today she was having a tantrum because she wanted her lunch and it wasn't ready yet. So I stay by her, hold her if she'll let me, and say things like, "Ray Ray wants lunch. Want lunch NOW. NOW, Mama, NOW. Lunch now. Mama says no. Ray Ray is so mad. MAD, MAD, MAD." We call it Toddlerease, here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Anyway, a few minutes of that usually gets her to settle down. She just wants to know that somebody out there understands.
Depends on the kid.<br><br>
With my oldest, he needed me to sit there beside him and talk him through it. Alot of "I know you want whatever, but right now we can't because of whatever" "I know that makes you sad/mad and that's ok" and "mama's right here" type of things.<br><br>
With my youngest, he's just infuriated if you're anywhere near him while he's tantruming. I usually go away from him (in the same room) and every minute or two check on him and let him see me check on him. Once he's calmed down on his own, I do the same talking and he's able to respond and hear me instead of just trying to get me away.